Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nose solo

After a few weeks of rain and snow in Yosemite this spring, It was time to destroy some rock and do something sick. El Cap is by far the most bitch'n thing in the valley, but after all the precip, free climbing was temporarily out of the question. With various partners over the years I've climbed  the Nose several times, and always thought it would be fun to try to solo it in a day. In high school, I watched the MoS segment of Dean Potter blazing up the nose in 12 hours a hundred or so times, and have since had it in my head that that was the pinnacle of sickness.

                                     Late May in Yosemite

I first did a run up to dolt tower, and quickly realized how much work soloing entailed. What usually took under two hours, became a five hour pain in the ass. I gave up on the idea until resident wall ninja Aaron Jones lent me his rope soloing cord and a few pitches with the new rope had me re-psyched on the mission.

The day started with me trying to go to sleep at around 9. For whatever reason I couldn't fall alseep, and the time on my cell phone went from 10 to 11 to 2:30 until 3:30 when my alarm went off. Not stoked about not sleeping, I got up anyways and headed for the base of El Cap. I started climbing at 4:30, and a mixture of rope soloing, free soloing and "mega death looping" got me to dolt in 3:50. Psyched on a sub 16 hour pace, I kept raging, passing 6 parties. By Camp 5 I was starting to get pretty tired, but kept moving, and a few pitches from the top I realized I might top out before dark. I flipped the anger switch and started motoring, racing the sun. At the final bolt ladder, I threw the rope on my back and charged up the bolts to the rim as the sun set. I checked the watch at the tree that marks the top of the route: I had been climbing for 15:55. I believe i'm the 7th or 8th person to solo the Nose in a day.  After a moment's contemplation on the summit, I made my way down the east ledges descent and went straight to bed.

                    Approaching the Boot flake party. Tom Evans Photo

                      Partying alone on Camp 5. Tom Evans Photo

More pics to come...


  1. All I can think about is Potter passing Timmy on Sickle and saying "Dont touch me!" as he runs past. HAHA! Is that what you said to the Boot Junk-show'ers?? Fuckin' righteous!

  2. The sick nasty! Congrats Mason... I'll be in the Valley the 13-18th so I hope to run into you sometime. Headed up to rig the Yosemite Falls and Lost Arrow Spire highlines, come join?

  3. Holy crap, that is proud.

    Next time we meet, you should tell me about the mega death loop!


  4. woulda been prouder hadja brung yer banjo and sum shine...