West Face of El Cap

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Planning a trip to the Valley in June (99). Interested in the West Face of El Cap, but don't know much about the route other than the beta in the guide book. We want to make an easy time of it and do it in two days. My partner and I are able comfortable up to "Valley" 5.10b. Any suggestions as to bivi spots, gear, and other useful ideas.

-- Norm Reid (gymplus@wolfenet.com), March 09, 1999


At "Valley 10b" should should have no problem whatsoever doing the route in two days, as there are only two-three short sections of 5.11 on the route, and these can easily be done "french-free". Fixing a couple of pitches and sleeping at the base is a good idea, but not neccessary if you are early risers. The El Cap arms is a good bivy, after 10 pitches or so, just enough space for two. There are more confertable bivy sites higher up, if you are fast. Take a "normal" free climbing rack, we took two sets of friends and nuts, and only 2 entriers (for the jumaring). The hauling are in general hell on this route, as it is not that steep, combined with a lot of corner etc. Good luck!

-- Paal Longva (plongva@uclink4.berkeley.edu), March 10, 1999.

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