Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Days Climbing in Yosemite

We drove into a campground right outside of the park late on the 4th of July, woke up bright and early to a beautiful sunrise and headed straight into Yosemite! We didn't even make it more than 20 minutes into the park before we ran into Stately Pleasure Dome- completely empty and begging for some climbers.
I was psyched for some multi-pitch, and we jumped on the 4-pitch route "West Country"- 5.7 mellow, with a mildly gnarly layback finger crack for the second pitch. Scott had to scare a big fat marmot off the very top of the climb, and from the top you could barely see Half Dome in the background. It was a fantastic first climb of the trip!
After we came down, we celebrated by jumping into the lake across the road- which still had some glaciers floating in it. :) Super invigorating, and exactly what was needed. After that we headed to Lembert Dome, getting on the 2-pitch "Northwest Books"- just a 5.6. There was an awkward bit near the top of the second pitch, but it was still fun. :)
This morning saw us at Low Profile Dome, warming up on "Golfer's Route"- 2 pitches of 5.7 with fun knob climbing.
I lead the second pitch- there was a lot of run-out in between bolts, where I even had to place gear, but it was another beautiful view at the top!
We did have to climb with our sweatshirts and clif bars and hang them at the first bolt, because Marmots were scooting their fat bottoms all over the bottom of the climb, waiting for us to get off the ground so they could score some food. After Golfer's, we set up the top rope to work "Orange Man"- a 5.10c with lots of blank slab climbing. Scott (as you can see below) definitely enjoyed working the crimps!
Feeling good after that, I roped up for "Darth Vader's Revenge"- 5.10a, with both bolts and trad leading. It's my first trad at that grade, and there was some mildly sketchy pro, but I pulled through the hardest bits without falling! I had to take while trying to work the 5.10 knob section (my fingers were exploding) but we cleaned that climb no problem.
Besides that, lots of games of scrabble, some spaghetti, tons of coffee, and good times have been had thus far.
After only two days, it's already easy to tell that leaving is going to be hard... :)


Mark said...

Correlating your descriptions ("mildly gnarly layback" finger crack, and "my fingers were exploding") to the photos, I find Webster's definitions inadequate for "mild", "layback", & "mellow." He obviously didn't think a mellow 4-pitch 5.7, 'just' a 2-pitch 5.6 with an awkward bit ignored in the rating, and a 2-pitch knobby 5.7 were a possible 4th definition for "mild." If all adjectives had numbered ratings, you could describe those spectacular views numerically! Maybe that's what those numbers like 5.10a or 5.10c really mean (they are adjective scores for how good the view is, from the wall &/or the top, but never looking straight down, of course). For me, the additive effect of even 5 "extremely mild" climbs (<5.0) in a single day would erase "mild" from my list of usable adjectives, and kill my ability to hear domes "begging for some climbers" (over the screaming of my muscles). Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and joy.

Daisy said...