American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, Yosemite Valley, Ribbon Falls Amphitheater, Reason Beyond Insanity

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Ribbon Falls Amphitheater, Reason Beyond Insanity. On October 12, Canadian Sean Easton and I started up the previously unclimbed 1,200-foot main wall of the Ribbon Falls Amphitheater. Three days earlier we had climbed and fixed ropes on pitches one and two, first climbed by Sean and partner during the fall of 1994. The route followed obvious features to a ledge system below a huge roof approximately two-thirds up the wall. Two very steep pitches led through the roof and deposited us at the base of the upper headwall. The first headwall pitch was the crux of the climb. Sean aided this beautiful micro-nailing, heading and hooking pitch in an all-day push, finally drilling the belay by headlamp. Two more steep and incredibly exposed pitches led us through the headwall and to the top of the wall. After an hour of hellish bushwhacking we found the Rim Trail and eventually descended the East Ledges descent of El Cap. The climb is of extraordinary quality and features large quantities of thin nailing and heading in weathered, diorite-type granite. We called our route Reason Beyond Insanity and graded it VI 5.7 A4.

David Sheldon, unaffiliated

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