12 Responses

  1. Shay says:

    Great work out there guys. Inspiring read. Makes me want to get on the Nose again.

  2. Zoom Loco says:

    Stoke! This is the first TR that actually makes me wanna swallow my pride and aid to climb El Cap (except Shay’s flip on king swing, watch that and you are guaranteed to wanna go for it). 300 feet of aid to get 3000′ of climbing. Seems a good bargain.

  3. Ian says:

    Nice work!! I didn’t remember there being a Chipotle restaurant on El Cap tower 😛

    • Stein says:

      Yes, they have a small stand up there now, but only take credit cards. There is no stopping the progress of US food chains…

      I was all prepared to rough it with nasty dehydrated foods when Luke brought me back to reason: Chipotle burritos with hot sauce, Tasty Bytes indian food, preserved fruit in juice for dessert, and pre-cooked quinoa with nuts for breakfast. The morale boost alone of eating so well carried us up the wall.

  4. Scotty says:

    Great stuff! MMm chipotle and splitters…

  5. Nath says:

    Wow, good work… and good food ideas!!!

  6. Joe says:

    Great read guys – thanks for posting. Also loved the King Swing video!!

    We were in the Meadow the previous day to watch Alex and Hans set the record for the Nose – that was impressive!!

    Question: my son, who is 15, has been climbing the grade 4 routes around the Valley with no difficulty (East Buttress of El Cap, East Buttress of Middle Cathedral, Royal Arches). His dream / goal is to be able to climb the Nose of El Cap. some time soon. Based upon what climbs he has been doing, what would you recommend to get him ready / in a position to take on El Cap?

    Also, he has primarily been climbing with Yosemite Mountaineering because he doesn’t know any other climbers that he can buddy up with. It has been suggested that we can make connections at Camp Four, but my concerns are in trying to vet the experience levels of the climbers. AJ is a strong climber, but there are some stupid people out there who do too many stupid things.

    Sorry for the long post – would appreciate any suggestions.

    To see a video of AJ’s climb last week – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqnLrIg36ec

  7. Luke says:

    Many people climb the Nose who have a wide range of ability. The more climbing one has done the better experience they will have on the Nose.

    At a minimum I would suggest having climbed one to two other walls like the Washington Column and the Leaning tower. These require a night sleeping on the wall and will get one familiar with jugging, hauling and other aid climbing systems.

    For climbing level routes like Astroman, the Rostrum, Steck-Salathe and the Chouinard Herbert should be climbed. These help simulate the long and strenuous days that AJ would experience on the Nose. These routes could easily be done on follow since AJ will not need to lead 5.11 to climb the Nose.

    Perhaps a good linkup would be to climb East Butress of El Cap and Middle Cathedral in the same day. Then on the next day he would climb Royal Arches and continue up to Crest Jewel on North Dome. This simulates the back to back nature of days on El Capitan.

    On the Nose you will climb multiple 12+ hour days which can be too much if you not done similar things in the past.

    To spend three days or less on the Nose I think a climber needs to onsight 5.10d on lead but be able to easily follow 5.11. These grades are for climbs in Yosemite that require jamming. Sport climbing or gym fitness, while useful, does not really translate to climbing in Yosemite or on El Capitan.

    If AJ expects to lead a very little amount, and jug (jumar) the majority of the route he will be ready sooner but will not have a full of an experience. Leading is the hardest part since you are on the sharp end and have to haul.

    I think many people try the Nose too early, like myself, and end up bailing due to the magnitude of it all. If you are spending two hours per pitch then the total climbing time will be over 60 hours! It’s much better to be taking around an hour or less a pitch and getting it done in three days.

    A good reference: http://www.supertopo.com/packs/road2nose.html
    Have Fun!

  8. Luke says:

    Luke, first let me say a big Thank You for taking the time to respond. We have asked many people, the same questions I’ve posted here, and have yet to receive anywhere near the detail you have provided. I get it that with Yosemite Mountaineering – they are looking for somebody to drop $5,500 and they will get them to the top, even if they have to haul them the whole way ;-).

    Thank you for putting the suggested lead up climbs, and for recommending the multiple day climbs – that makes good sense. Thank you also for referring the book “The Road to the Nose” – this will be one we will definitely be ordering.

    Thanks again, we’ll be following you on Facebook.

    • Joe says:

      LOL – didn’t mean to put my name as Luke.



    • Scotty says:

      I climbed the Nose when I was 17 and at the time I only lead 5.9. It took awhile but I got up it. My suggestion : choose the more adventurous option.

  9. Frank Zahar says:

    Wow , your climb sounds like alot more fun, than when my late friend Rocky Keeler and I climbed the Nose in May of 1972. Back in the day we used the hammer and bang technique. Placing and removing pitons took a lot of physical endurance. Ill never forget that wonderful day when we reached the top. Frank zahar

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