Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Menagerie is Back!

I love the Menagerie, and its finally open! I'm super psyched and hope to spend as much time up there this year as possible so move over Wolf, the Menagerie is back! And its time to start putting up some new routes! Tom Bauman and I went out earlier this month and looked at some of the rocks in The Outback area, I saw a sweet looking down hill face on The Mouse and I vowed to return.

A week and a half later I was back with Steve Elder. Earlier in the day we climbed "The Newt Route" on The Bridge, this is a super-mega classic that was Chris and Peter Fralicks first first ascnent! A must do if you ever visit the Menagerie. After that we headed on in to The Outback the most unexplored area of the Menagerie. I had my eyes set on that down hill face on The Mouse, but I also knew that Tom and Jeff Thomas had put up a 5.7 some where on The Mouse and was somewhat worried that this might be the same line and that I could'nt see the bolts, or there where not any bolts. So I hate to mess with a Bauman route unknowingly wich has been a common mistake by many in the past due to his sometimes lack of bolts.

Starting up the face I had imagined to be only 5.7 I was confronted with a much harder move than I had anticipated and a lot steeper rock making for much more akward stances. I had to make a small lunge for a hold 10' off the uneven deck, surley 5.9. I climbed up to what I thought would be a bomber incut knob to hang a sling on and drill a bolt, but turns out it was all sloper and not evern slingable. I did manage an okay stance 20' off the deck but the rock was steep and I didnt know if I could keep my feet long enough for a whole bolt. I got a really shitty hook with just the tip in a little hole enough for me for me to feel safe to drill but not enough to feel safe to weight. Luckily the rock was not super hard and in went the first bolt, thus aleveating any stress. The rest of the climb was sweet, two more bolts, one from a great stance and the other from and okay hook, a cool steep summit bulge and I was on the top. I drilled a new anchor and rapped off to give Steve a chance to lead it. A solid 5.9 on some great stone with pro in all the right spots. And as it turns out as we rapped off, I saw Tom and Jeffs bolts going up an easier looking groove midway uphill, I finally scooped the prime line! We decided to make a round trip out of it and head back to the car over Keith's Knob, the first half was enjoyable walking through big timber, but the second half was you classic Menagerie bushwhacking, but hey whats a day in the Menagerie with out a few scratches on you legs. The Outback is the place to be right now, and I'm psyched to go back!

I'll use this post to keep track of new routes in the Menagerie this year, hopefully they just keep goin up =)

The Mouse - The Hanta Virus - 5.9 F.A. Tyler Adams & Steve Elder, 8/13/2011
The route climbs the sold looking downhill face.  A crux move gains the face from the left side, after this the climb remains much easier. Continue up to the first bolt at about 15', then climb up and right to a bolt at a good stance. Climb up and left left to a bolt below the summit overhang, and continue straight up on good holds to the summit. Protection: Bolts

The first bolt! 
Photo: Steve Elder

The second bolt and a great stance!  
Photo: Steve Elder

The solid down hill face of The Mouse.

  Steve scoping the route.

The uphill side of Split Pinnacle, and no thats not the split!

The Bridge from atop Keith's Knob.


Brian Gilbert and I headed back to the Badger group and added another face climb to Split Pinnacle, replaced its summit anchor and also replaced the lead bolts and anchor bolts on "Frontierland" on The Badger. The outback is where its at!

Split Pinnacle - Smoke Signals - 5.8 F.A. Tyler Adams & Brian Gilbert 8/20/2011
Starts to the left of the split that defines Split Pinnacle. Sustained face climbing leads up past two bolts to a ledge between the to summit pinnacles. Step left and make a tricky move past a bolt to the summit. Protection: Bolts

First bolt. Photo: Brian Gilbert

Second bolt, with the hardest stance. Photo: Brian Gilbert

Third bolt. Photo: Brian Gilbert

Summit! Photo: Brian Gilbert

The uphill side of The Mouse with the top of Split Pinnacle below.


Chris Fralick and I got on Electric Lady Land on The Bridge in September. We replaced half of the belay anchor at the notch under The Bridge which is shared with "Her Honor to Defend" and did a little bit of scrubbing on the mossy traverse to the the crack. This route is an absolute must do if you visit the Menagerie. This was an extreme first ascent when done by Tom Bauman before cams where used for protection. Try it on nuts and hexes if you think your as strong at Tom! With cams now it makes placing protection on the traverse much easier, but it is at time awkward and strenuous.  

Chris Fralick on the mossy traverse on Electric Lady Land.

In the thick of it!

1/2 new belay.

Chris coils the rope on top of The Bridge with The Porpoise in the background.  

Walking off.

Hanging out under The Bridge while Chris rips off some Moss.


Here are some more pictures and a video from this past fall in the Menagerie....

From L to R: Boulder Dome, Cockatoo Tower, Royal Arch, The Coyote, The Siamese Twins, Lost Tower Buttress, Turkey Point and The Turkey Monster. Taken from Panorama Point.

Steve Elder leads More Bolts Than Balls on Panorama Point.

The master, Tom Bauman hangs at the base of Cockatoo Tower.

Bros monkeying around at the base of Electric Lady Land. OOOUUUGHHH!!! OOOUUUGHHH!!! OOOUUUGHHH!!!  

Placing a bolt on a new route on the North Rabbit Ear.

Pete Guagliardo follows pitch one of "The South Face" of the South Rabbit Ear, while Brian Gilbert and Greg Orton sort out the racl below. October 2011 Photo: Chris Winter

Turkey Monster. Photo: Greg Orton

Turkey Monster. Photo: Greg Orton

Second ascent of the Snake.

The Snake

Threading the rappel bolt hidden in the trees. Think you can find the Snake?

Bill getting psyched for "Hanta Virus"

Psyched on the Mouse!

Great rock on the Badger, but nearly impossible to get a good picture!

Old stuff on the West Face Diheadral on Rooster Rock.

Chris getting ready to lead the crux of the West Face Diheadral.

Chillen out on a cold April day on the sweet belay ledge on the West Face Diheadral. 


In late October Brian Gilbert and I ventured up into Beer Creek to climb some of the spires outside of the wilderness area. We got on top of Mountain House Spire, The Polar Bear and The Penguin. All great climbs, the Fry route on Mountain House Spire is a little mossy adding some spice along with the ancient 1/4" bolts. But the rock on the second part is super solid, and the tension traverse is pretty fun. The Polar Bear and The Penguin were both bolted by the Bosch Cowboy and are 5.10d and 5.10a respectively and are actually both great climbs with The Polar Bear being the best of all.  

Brian at the base of Mountain House Spire.

The uphill side of Mountain House Spire where three of the four routes begin. 

Brian on top of The Penguin.

Brian on top of The Polar Bear. 

And five minutes later it was gone....