Trip Reports

Trip Reports


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September 2011, Liberty Cap, YNP

Liberty Cap called us back for another round after adding “Scarface” in 2010.   Starting halfway out the traverse ledge, a thin corner system rises up through overhanging stone, eventually trending right and joining the West Buttress route at the classic 8th pitch dihedral.  We followed The West buttress traverse left, then broke off to join the final pitches of Scarface to the summit.

Our team consisted of Steve Bosque, Lars Johnson, and myself.  We were poised for a relaxed, 1 pitch a day schedule, which we strictly adhered to until the last day.  The first few pitches were steep and technical.  Our weapon of choice was the red Moses Tomahawk.  Perfect for thin corners, they would be the staple piece for the first half of the route. High quality rock was on the menu, pitch after pitch.  Some airtime was logged, cams broken, rain gear dropped, but we were moving right along.

After joining the West Buttress for a pitch, a long traverse left leads into Scarface.  We geared up for the final push up the last 3 pitches.  I had lead out last year on the same path, so I started racking up under questionable weather.  As soon as I stepped into my ladder it started to rain.  Eventually I was climbing in a huge low angle waterfall, with a lightning storm directly above Liberty Cap.  Hitting the belay, mildly hypothermic, the rain turned to hail, which was a pleasant relief at that moment.

All of a sudden, our relaxed trip turned hasty, polar opposite of our last time finishing on these pitches in brutal heat the year before.  Steve and Lars were soaked from the runoff at the belay,  and having dealt with the pigs in the pool so to speak, were inclined to let me lead to the summit.

Seven days were needed for the climb after fixing 4 pitches.  53 holes were drilled and filled.  At 62 years of age, Lars is the oldest person (recorded) to complete a big wall FA in Yosemite.  Not to mention having undergone cancer surgery 5 months prior to our climb.

The Patriot Act - V 5.9 A3+ 13 pitches

FA: J Mucci, S Bosque, L Johnson 9/24/11