The Balls

Supertopo Post, August 2008

Wow, good to hear climbers are visiting far flung Sierra places of yore where Kamps and I did some stuff. Who knows, maybe Domeland or Proc are next.

From the three drawer metal file cabinet standing in the furnace room, I pulled our the yellowed manila folder entitled "Balls" and found a funny one page drawing of mine to Domeland entitled, "Adventuresome Guide to the Balls." I cooked it up for an AAC trip, July '79. And there, for Tempest Dome is a faded topo showing the old Plate Route, Havana Ball etc. following pretty much the Spencer guide. One discrepancy: we rated "Plate" 5.9, but I see Spencer says 5.10. Whatever - just a nice little route. Here's a link to my website where I summarized the trip (as per AAC Journal 1980):

http://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=20&limit=1&limitstart=4

I see now the old topo of mine calls Nightwatch "Ski Track Dome," and Golden Toad was "Little Dome" and Turtle was "Big Red." So, names don't always stick ... but I have no problem with the new names.

As for route on Nightwatch called Left Ski Track, looks like Bob and I did the FA in '76. I see my little one page '79 topo shows the route as "3 pitches, one 5.9-5.10 move" but no bolts. The rest of the topo shows bolts as stars, so I don't think I would have left them off the route if they were there in the first place. Spencer guide also shows no bolts. Could be, then, they were added later. I just can't recall - maybe we slung big knobs or plates as these were common on the domes there. I do remember the route starts under a right leaning arch, as Spencer guide shows. Of course I'd prefer the route be left as it was done in the first place, but post again if you find it way run and dangerous and I'll ponder. Unfortunately, I can't wake up Kamps on this one to discuss ...