Laughing in Green. Gold Wall in Red

 

Yosemite Valley is bigwall climbing's Mecca. The weather is mostly splitter, the rock quality dreamy, there are over 500 different(and mostly empty) wall routes, and there is pizza(and beer) usually within an hour of the base. But the Valley is pretty slim on the shorter, easier walls called Grade Vs because they can be enjoyed in a weekend. If you’re looking for a weekend wall where you don’t need a portaledge, the list gets down right meager: three routes on the south face of the Column, a couple on the Leaning tower. Slim pickinskis.

 

So it was a pleasant surprise last spring to climb Laughing at the Void next to Gold Wall and discover another climb for the portaledge-free weekender list. Laughing is a nailup though, so great for folks that aspire to the longer nailing routes.

 

The winter of 2010 was the second wettest ever recorded, so by spring the Valley wall stoke was screaming. I found a topo for Laughing online and pulled out the binoculars. The route looked sunny and dry, and it looked like there might be a couple new pitches of aid climbing above the ledge where bad weather forced the Anderson family(Jerry Anderson was co-founder of the ASCA back before Chris Mac and I were making our own lunch) to bail onto a dirty, traversing free route.

 

We gleefully beelined up the approach, which alternated between soft, slick pine needles and shin to thigh deep snow. We made one trip after work on Fri and carried the rest up Sat. morning taking an hour and half for the hike each time. Being able to fill our water jugs a couple hundred feet from the base in Ribbon Creek made the approach, broken into two loads, pretty casual. We were stoked!

 

Once we were out of the snowy trees at the base, the climb was splitter Yosemite. The Void consists of 200’ of bolts, and the rest of the climb follows beautiful cracks. The fourth pitch is like the Triple Cracks(before they got blown out) on the Shield, and 175'! Rainbow Ledge is long and narrow, and the Falls blows around at night so you need a tarp or rainfly and bivi sacs if the water is running. We climbed the two new pitches off the ledge, and still made it back to the car by 8pm on Sunday night. Awesome times!

 

 

 

Ryan getting psyched

 

It was knee to thigh deep at the base

 

But the wall was warm and dry

Ryan cleaning the first  two pitches

 

the Void

 

end of the third pitch

 

Ryan styling up the endless splitter fourth pitch

 

Good looking neighbors

 

 

Me leading the only (short)grovel fest on the climb, beginning of pitch 5

 

Rainbow Ledge rocks!

 

Gotta bring a fly or tarp to keep dry in the Spring

 

First new pitch off the ledge

 

I’m hauling because we had the fa rack, now you just leave your bags on the ledge

 

Gold Rush!

 

Meeting up with the Gold Wall for its last pitch

 

Folks been complaining about this tiny tree on the Gold Wall raps and it’s looking pretty weak. We tied our 8mm lower out line to a tree in the above photo to back it up(we didn’t rap that way, but rapped Laughing to pick up our bivy gear)

 

Summit Glory

 

Ahhhh, to easy, bitchin crack following grade Vs in outrageous locations

 

Yowza

 

 New topo here(or by clicking on Laughing at the Void words at top or bottom of page):

 

http://yosemitebigwall.com/laughing-void

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date: 
2011-03