DNB on Middle Catheral

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Going to the Valley in late June. Interested in doing the DNB and wanted to get some beta or comments from any one who has done it. Standard rack ok? Rock quality? Can it be done in a long day push by two climbers who can are at their free climbing limits with Valley 10C? Is it as good a climb as it looks like from the ground and the topo? Thanks, Norm Reid

-- Norm Reid (gymplus@wolfenet.com), March 24, 1999


Hey Norm, The DNB is a great climb. The climbing is varied and the rock quality is very good. Expect face moves, crack, chimney, and face/crack mix. Completely enjoyable! A standard rack is all you need. The crux 10b section is protected by some bolts(some older ones if I remember, this adds the excitement to it!). Plus, it is only about 12 feet or less of 10b. The rest is 9 or below. However, some pitches did feel a little harder than their rating, huh whatever. My partner and I did it in one long day. We topped out with plenty of time to get back around dark, however, we never really found the cat walk so we went ahead to the complete summit and then found our way down. We ended up back at the car around 12:00pm. We started at 6:15am. The best thing about the climb is its height and direct view of El Cap. Keeps those belays going quick as you keep fanatizing about El Cap. If you need more info just ask. Ronnie

-- Ronnie Miller (dylan-miller@juno.com), March 25, 1999.

What an exciting route. Bring RPs, offset stoppers if you have them, TCUs and a rack of cams to 3-4". The climbing is sustained (at 5.9) and runout at times. Belays can be marginal, be never really all that bad. It's probably gonna be a long day - my partner and I started at 7AM and were down to the ground by 3:30PM, I guess we got lucky going so fast. Anyway, the climb stays in the shade after 11AM or so, don't worry about bringing too much water. Route finding can be an issue - we got way off route - so take your time. I've seen very experienced parties epic on this route. If you'd like a peice of history, Charlie Fowler onsight free soloed this route in '77.

Good Luck, Chris

-- chris van leuven (turbospazm@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

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