El Cap - Lurking Fear vs. NAW

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My climbing partner and I are looking into doing a route on el cap this summer (Mid-late Aug.2001). As avg climbers we were wondering what insight anyone may have on Lurking Fear vs. NAW?

-- shamyl burki (shamyl@qwest.net), February 28, 2001


Hmm, what does "average climbers" mean? I didn't think average climbers climbed El Cap! I thought average climbers just hung out at the gym or thought they were hot stuff cuz they led a sport 5.11. You may be more bitchin' than you think you are... Anyway, I haven't done North American Wall yet, but it's a much more involved climb than Lurking Fear because it's longer, harder, and involves more rope tricks (lots of pendulums). There is also a bit of loose diorite to contend with, but nothing desperate from what I've heard. LF has a LONG approach, but that's good, because it keeps the crowds down compared to its more popular counterpart, Zodiac. Unlike NA, which requires some pins, you can climb LF clean no problems. You can also climb it free (rather more problems...). NA might take a competent team a week, whereas LF you should be able to get up in 2 nights on the wall. The climbing is easy and excellent except near the top. One big problem with LF is the exceptionally nasty hauling towards the top - a dirty loose haul up to Thanksgiving Ledge, then the summit slabs. You'll want some big cams for that pitch before Thanksgiving too, as I recall. For the summit slabs, we set up a clothesline affair (I don't know what you call it). You need two ropes joined end to end. If you're doing your packing right, all your gear in your haulbags will be compartmentalized in separate stuff sacks with reliable clip-in loops. At the base of the slabs, you send the smaller bags up two or three at a time, just kind of dragging them up the rock. Takes a bit of time, but much easier than trying to haul the slab. As for the pitch below Thanksgiving, good luck. Send the second up next to the bag. Cheers, Pete

-- "Pass the Pitons" Pete (peterzabrok@home.com), March 28, 2001.

For sure, I'd forget the NA...if you're not familiar enough with it's deserved rep, you're not ready. The LF is good, safe, and easy. I remember using more hooks up high than I thought I would, and the top section is a bit low angle, but over all it's a good first nail up. Feel free to Email me if you want more Beta. Luck to you both!

-- Gene West (genepwest@yahoo.com), February 26, 2002.

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