Galactic Hitchhiker beta

Trip Report from second ascent

Newsgroups: rec.climbing
Subject: Galactic Hitchhiker in a day
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 23:24:13 -0700

My friend Mark Albosta and I climbed "Galactic Hitchhiker" today on Glacier Point Apron. Maybe the second ascent!

We enjoyed the route immensely, even though it's not always clean and smooth. All the nice anchors, fixed pins and bolts were fun to clip. It's nice not to be way lead out all the time like on the DNB. We took a 200 foot rope and climbed a majority of pitches in pairs, skipping every other belay. That, along with going light and simul-climbing the easy stretches allowed us to go fast and do the "41 pitch" route in 16 "Pitches"

We started climbing at 5 am and finished at 1:30 pm. 8 1/2 hours is pretty fast for a couple of Barneys on a grade 6. Not having to drill or haul or trail ropes made a lot of the pitches seem far easier than on the topo we had but the crux moves on the 10d and 11b pitches were true to their grade even though they were short sections. I found the 10d particulary hard but I was hurried by raindrops that were falling (temporarily) from some freak tropical storm that happened by on the one day we commit to a huge route with one rope. Both tricky moves are immediately protected my bolts and the climbing on the whole is quite mellow. If you can do the DNB in a day, you can do Hitchhiker in a day.

It all turned out great. We cleaned a couple of fixed angles with one finger but that can happen with time on that rotton or expando glacier point rock.

Some folks are going to think the first ascent party's ratings are too liberal and they used too many bolts, but it all made it more fun for me. You still have to do 80 foot 5.8 runouts low on the route.

I will try and write up a TR sometime on a rest day and share it somehow. My company of 14 years downsized my job a month ago so now there is no excuse for me to sit behind this computer so much.



Karl Bralich is a Mountain Guide, and he can be contacted at His web page is, where he has posted several interesting trip reports and guiding info.

Credits for the online topo

The topo is based on a topo drawn by Lou Renner and Matt Brooks, which appeared in a British(?) climbing magazine in 1996 or 1997. Lou Renner posted a copy at the Pacific Edge climbing gym, and Kelly Rich kindly sent me a copy. I redrew it, scanned it, and converted all the text for clarity. The current topo shows 39 pitches, instead of the original 41, because I removed the numbers from the two optional pitches that go out right to The Oasis.


If you repeat this route and have any comments/corrections to the beta or topo, please send me some email: Clint Cummins