Thursday, May 24, 2012

Climbing the Muir Wall for Science! El Cap photo TR!

 Over the past few days, Roger Putnam and I got to do something very cool- climb El Cap in the name of science!  Roger is working on the first modern complete geologic map of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley for his master's in geology, and is out here for a couple months to do as much research as possible to catalog the different rock existing along as many routes as he can climb/rappel/survey via high-resolution photography.
I was super stoked to be able to be on the ground floor of this project, getting to climb a route which I had my eye on for a number of years now, the historic Muir Wall.  The Muir cuts one of the most natural lines up to the left of the Nose, following endless clean corner systems for much of its 32 pitch length.  
Roger and I climbed at a pretty quick pace, topping out in 2 1/2 days, but not too fast that we didn't take scale photographs and rock samples from every belay, having to haul them all the way to the top with us!
The route was very high quality- Frost and Chouinard certainly bagged a classic back in '66- and surprisingly dry and free of grass for being a watercourse for much of the winter and spring.  

Here are a bunch of photos from the trip, and a link to the Supertopo post featuring a lot of info about this massive project.  Enjoy!  Geologic Mapping Project Info

Hauling up under the Heart

Roger leads above Mammoth Terraces

Park issued green jeans= send!

Hanging at the bolt traverse


Tom Evan's view of pitch 19

Penji swingin!

Hammering in a pin on pitch 19

The scale cards used to catalog grain sizes

Roger follows

Finally back into the light after the squeeze slot threatened to eat me alive!

Rog climbing the "C1 Fantastic" splitter corner!

Following same pitch.


Climbing the gorgeous A2 arrows crack, pitch 24

More killer left facing corners!

Upper corners pitch 27.

Oh yeah!  160 ft. of green aliens!

Bomber 5.8 hands 3,000 ft. off the deck!
Summit time! 

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