Picture with my Mom right before I left.
Custom, bummer you can't sleep in your car in yosemite
Lots of driving.
Wow, I have already had such an incredible experience here. I think my body is finally getting used to sleeping on the ground, and my back doesn't hurt as much as it did earlier this week. Camping in camp 4 is sweet! I had a site with four strong climbers from new zealand. Yesterday one of them was one move away from freeing leaning tower (5.12d I don't remember which route..) and the other two went and climbed to pitch 16 on the nose and rapped down.
There are climbers from all over the world staying in camp 4. So far, I have met people from new zealand, germany, alaska, canada, israel, and all over the US. It's so awesome to be surrounded by people that are so psyched on climbing.
Thursday I went and climbed the 1100 foot east buttress of middle cathedral rock. We started right after a slow party of 3, so that was unfortunate. They were going to take a different variation after pitch 5, and it was a perfect chance to pass them. This is when the fun started. It was my turn to lead, and I was going to link the two 5.7 flaring squeeze chimney pitches. That was one of the hardest pitches I have every climbed in my life, it was terrible! It was honestly harder than any 5.12, I guess I'm just not used to that type of climbing. I was glad it was over, and then we quickly climbed the pitch after, and then ended right behind the slow party of 3 again.. bummer. I then figured out that I had talked to the three guys in the parking lot a few days before before. They were going to try and climb the nose with a party of 5 people, I wished them good luck....haha. Two bailed a few pitches up, and the other three bailed once they got up 10 pitches out of 31.
Thursday night, my friend Chris from boulder drove in. I gave him a little tour around the valley, and then made plans for climbing the next day. We went and climbed nutcracker on the manure pile. It's a long easy classic, we decided to climb the appealing 5.9 variation to start the climb. I let him lead the first pitch. Because of how much traffic it gets, the crack was super greasy and that made it very difficult to climb. We got stuck behind some more slow climbers, but we expected that.
I promise I'm happier than I look. Pitch 3 ledge on nutcracker.
You have to keep you food in a bear box at the base of the rock. When we went back to pick up our food that we had left there, there was a bag full of cooking supplies and other food with a note. BEST DAY EVER. So I got 4 eggs, a half a loaf of bread, paper towels, aluminum foil, 2 potatoes, sugar, and matches.
After a quick stop at the mountain shop in curry village, we headed over to the cookie cliff. I was anxious to see how I would do on more difficult climbs here, and this was a perfect opportunity to test myself. I ate a magic sandwich (two slices of bread with nothing in the middle) and started leading up catchy (5.10d). I felt really good the whole way up, and caught the hold on the crux. Sweet, I just climbed a valley 10d onsight. Chris lowered me down, and I pulled all the gear. I handed the gear off to him, and he also got the onsight. Then we went over to climb outer limits (5.11a). So sick! Hand a fist jamming for 100 feet. We both got the onsight.
Chris at the base of catchy
I was really glad with how well I had done on these climbs. New to crack climbing, I wasn't really sure how hard I could crack climb. It's difficult climbing here for me.. dying on 5.7 chimney, very close to falling on a 5.9 on top rope, but also being able to lead much harder than those. I always conclude that all climbing is just plain difficult.