Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Posting my honest feelings is difficult for me. This is my journey, and I'm documenting my experiences.

I have slightly been struggling with coming back into reality. Some people have no problem with this, but for some reason I do. I have never felt like I have had to try this hard to talk to people. The other night I had a legitimate anxiety attack. That has never happened to me before. It was absolutely horrible, it lasted about an hour. I was helpless, and felt like my chest was caving in.

Hazy Malibu on my way out. Sorry I didn't get any better pictures that capture the beauty of the ocean.

Triple digits scorched me all the way from death valley, through nevada, until I got into utah. I watched my engine temperature gauge like a hawk, making sure my old jeep didn't overheat.

I'm home now, but still long for the exhausted and scared feeling that I came to know in yosemite. I left malibu yesterday and drove 1070 miles only stopping for gas. I left at 11am and got home at 2:30am. I was planning on pulling off to the side of the road somewhere in utah to sleep, but never really got tired. The last 100 miles were brutal but I made it.

It saddens me to think about how I'm going to have to wait an entire year to go back to yosemite. Next summer I will be ready to send much, much harder.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leaving something to dream about.

Every single day my mental tick list of walls that I want to climb gets longer and longer. My motivation is getting lower and lower. The temperature is getting hotter and hotter.
I feel like I'm at the point where I'm making myself climb. It's not something I should push. I'm listening to myself now, I'm going to save some of my aspirations for next summer.
I think I'm going to leave for malibu and stay with my friend Brando. I miss my family and friends more than ever. I'm really excited to get back home. Even though my hometown cliffs seem insignificant compared to the rocks that tower over me here, I miss those also. No matter what I climb, nothing can replace the feeling of when it all started on the conglomerate rock of castlewood canyon.
I am going to miss the level of commitment here. Bailing on some of the routes would be a nightmare, so it's easier up than down. I like that kind of thing.
I'm satisfied with what I have accomplished so far. I've climbed 5 big walls and soloed two of them. I can now onsight most 5.10d climbs. Unless it's offwidth.. I can only climb 5.9. I have gotten pretty good at placing gear also. I'm pretty solid with aiding C2. Talk all the shit you want about aid climbing, it will make you way better at placing gear while free climbing. I don't know though.. I just feel like aiding is a dangerous puzzle that you have to figure out, it's cool.
Good bye beautiful, beautiful valley.

One last picture.. This is the bottom of my shoe, each one of those circles is less than a centimeter in diameter.

Monday, June 21, 2010

West Face, Leaning Tower, SOLO

6:20am my alarm went off. Still hung over from the other walls that I had just climbed, I dragged myself out of my sleeping bag. I had planned and packed the night before, but I didn't want to climb, especially not solo. I decided ok, I'll make some breakfast and see how I feel. I didn't feel like doing it. Ok, I'll drive to the parking lot and see how I feel, I still didn't feel like doing it. Ok, I'll just hike to the base and see how I feel. I finally decided... well I'm already here, I might as well climb this thing.

This was my first grade V solo in a push, and second solo ever. It's a bit harder than washington column, and it's rated at C2. It took me 14 hours car to car, about 10-11 hours to climb it. Most people do this with a partner, take two full days, and sleep half way up. Nervous.. I didn't know how to get to the base of the route, and I didn't know how to get off. I was also only going to bring one rope.. which meant I couldn't bail. Bringing two ropes would mean that I would have to bring the only other rope I had, a really fat, heavy static line. So I figured that I would have the best chance of making it to the top in a day if I went light. I also didn't bring my camera for that reason. I was worried about wasting any time, and did NOT want to get stuck on the wall over night. It's not like normal climbing where you kind of wait around when you're belaying. When solo climbing, if you're not leading or cleaning, you're wasting time. So sorry everyone.. no pictures or videos. 

This climb is 11 pitches, you can link every one of them and end up with 5 looong pitches. As I got to the base of the tower, I started up the 3rd and 4th class section to get to the base of the route. This was probably the scariest most insecure part of the whole climb. I felt like I was soloing 5.5 moves with a 400 foot drop right below me.... which is exactly what I had to do. It made it even more difficult because I had my full rack, rope, and pack full of water. 

The first and second pitch are all bolts, so it was a good warm up. I cruised up them no problem, and into the rhythm of soloing. It's kind of annoying because of how close the bolts are. There so close I only had to be in the second step of my aider, yet couldn't skip any because that was too far. This thing is steep!!! They really don't call it the leaning tower for nothing. The third pitch was that hardest pitch for me, I had to do two hook moves in a row a few times, and that was definitely scary for me. For aid climbing, sometimes when you can't put any gear into a crack, you can either use a cam hook, or a hook. It's not like placing a cam or nut, where you can see exactly how it fits into the crack. I still probably don't have the experience with this whole aid climbing thing to feel good about placing these. 

Cam hook: you place this in a crack, usually sideways, and when you put your weight on it the torque keeps it from popping out.. hopefully. You use this usually when you can't get a nut or cam to fit in the crack. As you stand on it you can see the thing bend and flex. 

Talon hook: there are 3 different sizes on this thing. It's pretty sweet. You normally place it straight down on a small edge, or drilled hole. 

Cliff hanger hook: same idea as the talon, it is a little bigger so it can hook around bigger sections of rock. 

So I placed the talon for the second time (it was brand new), when absolutely nothing else would fit, and then I dropped it when I was unclipping my daisy chain. I watched it free fall past the steep rock, and was scared because it was an essential piece of gear. Mad at myself, I continued on, knowing that I'd be able to figure it out. 

I got to the ahwanee ledge without much problem, and then started up the traverse. It was difficult, but after the short section of C2, most of the gear was fixed. I kept moving quickly, and was done with pitch 6 by the time the sun hit me. It's west facing, so it doesn't get into the sun until the afternoon. When the sun started beating on me, I definitely slowed down but kept moving. Before I knew it, I only had one more long pitch to go. The end of it was supposed to be C2, but I enjoyed all the fixed gear left behind and it was super easy, besides the fact that it was very steep. There I sat, one move from the top, and I couldn't figure out how to get on top of the bivy ledge. I sat there a few minutes and then had to make a difficult free move without any good holds for my hands or feet. You can see where there is a small shallow drilled hole to aid through the move. If I still had my talon hook it probably would have worked but I didn't have it anyway. 

On the last pitch when I was rapping down to clean, I stopped four different times to clove hitch the rope off so that my rope wouldn't get sawed through when I jugged up. You sort of bounce when you're jugging, and you're rope really can get sawed in half by sharp edges..scary. Tying the clove hitches at certain points doesn't allow the rope to bounce up and down.... sorry if that doesn't make sense.. I'm having trouble explaining it. If you are interested I could show you. I jugged up the last few feet of the technical part, and free soloed to the summit. 

I was nervous about the descent, you need two ropes to rap most of it. I climbed as fast as I could so that I would reach the summit with some sunlight left. I got to the top with about an hour left of light. Thankfully, it was really low angle so I could just carefully down climb most of it. I rapped the really steep stuff. If you are carrying a haul bag, you NEED two ropes. There is no way you could down climb  with a pig on your back.. maybe if you're superman. Usually you think getting to the top you yell that you conquered something. You actually have to summit twice when you solo, and when I got to the top the climb wasn't over. I still had to get down. When I got to the ground is when I had sent the route.

I rocked my ipod most of the time while I was climbing. I have never climbed with it before, but it was really awesome. It made me concentrate really well, and I stayed in super lead mode the whole time. I downloaded the new modest mouse cd a few months ago and didn't like it initially. The night before I blasted off, I found out that it was a sick cd! I listed to it 3 times while I climbed.. that's how good it is. I also listened to mew and deadmau5. Techno is good for jugging haha. Occasionally I would take one of my headphones out to listen to how the cams (usually offset) sounded. If it was a placement that was a really far reach sometimes I couldn't see it that well and would make sure that it didn't make any popping sounds when I weighted it. Also when I would bounce test anything.. the popping sounds usually wasn't a good sign that it was a solid placement. Sometimes it was good though, the cam was just setting. 

This was the steepest thing I had ever climbed. Cleaning the route when I rapped down (taking out all the gear that I placed in the rock) was very difficult on every pitch. I would have to pull myself into the wall at every piece to take it out, then take a big swing, repeat until i got to the anchor. Does anyone know how to make this easier?????? Then jugging back up the rope was hard the entire time. Every pitch was somewhat overhung, so I would be jugging in free space. It is much more strenuous compared to when the wall is vertical or slightly low angle. 

I tried to get into the rhythm so that I wouldn't waste any time at the transition between leading and cleaning. 
When I would get to an anchor, this is what I would do:

Put my daisies into the anchor, take the rack off
Set up anchor with double length sling, putting end of rope at power point
Rappel (using gri gri) and clean the pitch I just led
Clean bottom anchor, put backpack on
Swing way out because it's so overhung, and jug back up the rope (get scared)
Get to anchor, take backpack off
Flake rope into sling (CAREFULLY) or on ledge
Put myself back on belay
Put on rack, re-rack all the gear I had cleaned
Lead the next pitch (get scared)

I'm still getting used to this whole soloing thing, and this is the system I use because I don't know any other way. If anyone has any tips let me know. It was really awesome soloing this route because I felt like I knew what I was doing the whole time, and was never confused about what to do next. My rope never got caught on anything, and everything went smoothly. This was the first time I felt very confident soloing, and wasn't worried about my system. I learn more tricks every time I solo. I also finally figured out how to avoid my daisy chains from getting twisted while leading. I went an entire pitch without having to unravel them! 

The rack: 
2 sets camalots .4-3 (only one #3) 
black to red alien
blue to red offset alien
1-3 TCU's 
1 set BD stoppers
4 DMM offset brass nuts (smaller ones)
16 quickdraws (6 alpine, 10 normal)
6 locking biners
4 non locking biners
2 double length slings
gri gri
petzl ascenders
atc guide
talon hook, cliff hanger, medium cam hook
yates shield harness
metolius gear sling (the one with loops)
1 60 meter rope 

did not use TCU's
perfect rack of camalots
placed 5 nuts maybe... only one offset
need more quickdraws
clipped TONS of fixed gear

The fuel:
2.5 liters of water
2 king size snickers
1 clif builder's bar

The gear beta said to bring a rack to #5 camalot.. well I only have a #3 so that's what I brought. You definitely didn't need a 4 or 5. I back cleaned a ton, and clipped the fixed gear for protection. I'm always scared of running out of gear.

Sorry this post was so long. I've got all this stuff running through my head and didn't want to forget it. The whole soloing thing has been a really big learning curve. 

I did as much work if not more, than climbing a 20 pitch route with a partner. It was really rewarding, and it was awesome to solo something so big in a day. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lost Falls.

Yesterday was the second time I did laundry since I've been on my trip. Yea I know.. it's been almost 6 weeks. I use the employee laundry room so that way I don't have to pay for it. While I was waiting for my clothes to dry, I met this cute girl Sarah. She works in the coffee corner in curry. This is one of those friendships where you immediately get to know each other really quick. It's always cool when that happens. She said she gets off work late, but asked if I wanted to do something when she got off. 

I recently moved out of camp 4. Rangers are getting more strict, and more climbers are getting busted for staying there. If I get a ticket ($160), my trip ends. I'm sick of going to sleep stressed about getting caught. I was cooking in the orchard parking lot, and this guy Andrew that I met a few weeks ago came by and told me he had a site in upper pines and I could come stay with him for a few nights. People go to bed later in the pines campgrounds... so I was having trouble sleeping because of the loud people. Midnight came around and I got a text from Sarah. She was off work, and we were going to go on some adventure. 

She took me to the lost falls. It was about a mile bike ride, and a mile hike. It was really incredible. Even though you could only see what was in the beam of our headlamps, it was so awesome. I got back to the campground around 4:30am. I hate staying up late, but this was totally worth it. 

This was the first porcupine I have ever seen. Sweet!

I keep getting bugs on my pants, and I keep taking pictures of them. 

Up next!! I think I'm going to aid solo the west face of leaning tower in a push tomorrow. I'm really bummed because I think I have to bring two ropes to get off the thing. One extra rope adds a lot of extra time and weight. All I have is my lead rope that is now fat and most people wouldn't want to climb on it, and my heavy 11mm haul line. I was hoping there was a walk off. 


Friday, June 18, 2010


Just checked my bank account.
I've got a little less than $400 left. I've been a little lazy, and spending too much money on snickers and aid climbing gear. I figure I need to save $250 to get home. That leaves $150 for the rest of my trip. I need to go into super-dirtbag climber mode so it will last! I might get a little skinnier than I thought. Why does everything here have to be so expensive?? I think I might visit my friend Brando in Malibu on my way back.. so I probably should save a little money for that also.

I have yet to walk around the base of el cap and come back empty handed. Yesterday I found a small lantern, a nut tool, and a reverso 3.
Today I found what I have been looking for.. a cam hook!! Score! I also found a petzl fifi hook that Mark Hudon recommended.
Climbers: keep those fingers greased! I'm enjoying all your dropped gear.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Regular Northwest Face, Half Dome

After getting of the salathe wall, we got a ton of rest (a day and a half) and decided to go climb half dome. After drinking some beer with Mark Hudon we racked our gear and hiked up the death slabs to the base of the climb. It was a 3-4 hour approach that is notoriously difficult. It took us only two and a half hours, it wasn't too bad. 

When we got to the base, we came to find that these two german kids that we knew (we passed them when they were climbing the nose). They kindly let us know that we could start before them. Sweet. 

This climb is 24 pitches and it is grade VI. Here is the breakdown of the seriousness and commitment level of climbs.

Grade I: 1-3 hours
Grade II: 3-5 hours
Grade III: 5-8 hours
Grade IV: a full day
Grade V: one very long day to two days
Grade VI: at least two days to a week

For example, any el cap route is grade VI. Since we had climbed the nose in a day, we were pretty confident that we would be able to climb it pretty quickly. Normally for any big wall we have done, one person would lead up, and the other person would jug or ascend up the rope instead of actually climbing. For this route, we both climbed each individual pitch. This takes longer, but it was cooler that we both climbed the whole thing. It ended up taking us 11 hours and 45 minutes. We didn't link many pitches, and weren't trying to move super fast. 

The sweeeeeet face.

There is a spring at the base of the climb. The water was soo good.

There is a snowfield at the base, it's been melting very slowly. It comes up about twenty feet from the true base of the rock. Colin used my nut tool as an ice axe. The german kids on the right had fixed a pitch the previous day. The only thing is... they were on the wrong route. That allowed us some time to get ahead of them so we wouldn't be in there way. 

Colin leading up some pitch.. I don't remember. 

This pitch is the first one that got us out of the corner system, and got us out on the exposed face. That definitely affected me mentally. 

Colin starting up the chimneys. 

The climbing went really well. Most of the pitches are 5.9 up until big sandy ledge on pitch 17. The grade gets much harder to 5.11d. I free climbed as much as I could and then went into aid mode. 

The 'thank god ledge'. 1 foot wide, very high up, super exposed. You can either walk it, or crawl. We crawled it haha. It was still scary! 

The cables to get off half dome. I can't believe that tourists actually go up and down this thing.. I just climbed the face of half dome, and I was scared going down! It's really slippery and surprisingly steep. 

I didn't climb as well as I had hoped. I didn't sleep very well the night before, and I'm not sure I had enough rest after climbing salathe. Mentally I wasn't in the best shape either. The second I stepped off the snow to follow up the pitch that Colin had just led, I felt heavy and scared. I wasn't even leading and I was scared a lot of the time. This was our third big wall climb in two weeks, which is a ton for most people. Some of my friends can climb 6 el cap routes in 10 days, and I feel like I should be able to do the same. I tend to jump into things, especially with climbing. It's been getting me ahead for a while, but now it's starting to slow me down. 
The only way I can explain it is I feel like my brain is fried.. melted from the exposure and constantly pushing myself hard.. being scared... a lot..
My trip might end a little bit early. I don't know how much more I can mentally take. Wall climbing is incredible, but for me, it's really hard.
I'm taking a few days off now to recover. It's been good, hanging out with awesome people that I've met, and getting back some of the calories that have I've lost. 

Colin left for home yesterday, so I'm going to climb with a few other people. A few loose plans so far:
Astroman with Ameet (I don't know how to spell his name)
Zodiac, el cap with Ameet??
The shield, el cap with Erik?? Damn that will be scary

P.S. I changed the settings on my page, so now it should allow anyone to comment on my posts. So... go ahead, Say anything! Tell me I need to be trying harder, or I'm being a baby for being so afraid of heights!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Goals: Some big, some bigger

Some of these I might do next week, some might not happen until next year. 

Free the regular northwest face of half dome
Solo west face of leaning tower in a push
Solo zodiac, el capitan
Find a girl that likes to climb.. and that likes me haha
El cap, half dome link up, yikes
Free astroman
Steck Salathe
Do a hard aid route on the captain.. not sure which one

Life in Yosemite.

I thought I'd write a post about what it's like here. I mostly write about the climbing here, but not too much about everything else that goes on. So here it goes..

This is camp 4. There are 35 sites, which is a 25x25 square with four bear boxes to keep food in. It's not like normal camping where you get your own secluded site all to yourself. If you are in a group of two, you will get put with four other random people, so 6 people per site. Camp 4 is the only walk in campground, and you are only allowed to stay for seven days. I have been here since may 10th... so... I haven't been staying 'legally' for about a month. I keep my food, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag in less than half a bear box, and stay hidden from the rangers. I'm just super friendly to the other people staying in my site. If there are tourists staying in my site, they think it's the coolest thing ever that I climb, and if other climbers stay in my site, they could care less that I'm not actually paying for the site. 

You're only allowed to have a tent if you have a registered tag.. which you get when you stay for your seven days. I sleep on the ground under the stars every night. The tourons that stay in my site usually ask me if I'm afraid of bears because I don't sleep in a tent.. I honestly am a little scared, but not too bad. 

My german friend Betty taught me how to make banana pancakes when I first got here. They're totally my favorite thing to make for breakfast. So good.. 

Yosemite falls. This is about two minuets away from camp 4. I drive or ride my bike by it several times a day. So awesome. Especially the millions of tourons that crowd around and take pictures of it. I can't totally blame them.. it is really beautiful. 

This is on the bridge by el capitan meadow. Tom Evans (the guy who takes the sick pictures of us climbing) is here every day, and a lot of climbers usually gather around. It's one of my favorite places to hang out on my rest days. You can look through Tom's telescope at all the other climbers on the captain and check their progress. Tom is hilarious, especially when he is talking about girls, or when he's checking them out through his binoculars haha. 

So I woke up one morning, and these shoes were next to me. They're a pair of 5.10 guide tennies with a note that said 'you can take it'. SWEET! I was actually thinking about buying a pair, except they are $100. They could use a resole, but they still work great! I have gotten tons of stuff here for free.. I get a good amount of free food from people that are leaving the park, and get a lot of climbing gear. I walk around the base of el cap and look for stuff that people have dropped. The other day I got 4 nuts, 3 carabiners, and a rivet hanger. I have yet to come back empty handed. People also leave a ton of carabiners and slings on routes.. especially the nose.  

We call these green dragons. The ultimate tourist vehicle. It's a tour around the valley floor, and the ranger sitting in front talks about everything.. I know a guy that just slept in one of these for a night. He said that whisky helped him make that decision. 

This is where I get my overpriced groceries. Some stuff is double the price in normal grocery stores. It's in the middle of yosemite.. so what do you expect?

Mosquitos! They are pretty terrible here. Even when I put on bug spray, they still find every single spot that I didn't spray well enough. I think they like to suck my blood more than most people..

My friend Scott's car just got broken into by a bear. They stick their claws in the top of your door frame, pull the frame out and break your window in the process. There were 5 break ins all in el cap meadow one night. Sometimes they break in even if you don't have any food in your car. 

Huge bear at the base of el cap! This thing was about 30 feet away from me when I first saw it. People usually hike there haul bags up to the base they day before they climb, and bears walk around and rip into your bags to find food. The rule is that you have to put your bags a pitch up.. out of reach. 

The merced river winds throughout the valley. The water rose a few feet since I've been here. It got huge! They had to evacuate half of the house keeping camp because it was getting flooded. The water level is finally going back down. 

This is el cap meadow half flooded. Middle cathedral rock is what you are looking at, it is directly across from the captain.

So all the girls here are either with their boyfriends, or with their parents, bummer. It's probably good though.. I don't need to be distracted by that haha. I'll have enough of that when I go back home and when school starts back up in the fall. That's still a big goal though.. find a girl that climbs! I don't think this trip would be possible if I still had a girlfriend. I would sacrifice anything for this.

I'm still loving it here. I'm really starting to miss my family and being home though. I've got a few other goals to finish up here.. and might leave late june.. I have no idea though.. No plans yet.

If any of you reading this have any questions about anything.. or questions about any of my other posts, feel free to ask with that little comment button at the bottom. I wish more people would comment! Even if you think it's a stupid question.. go ahead.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Salathe Wall, El Capitan

One of my goals for the summer was to climb the salathe wall. Our strategy: pre haul our haul bag up the fixed lines up to heart ledges 11 pitches up, then spend 3 days on the wall. I think it's kind of lame pre hauling using fixed lines... but after climbing free blast, that would have been a nightmare to haul our 100 pound bag through terrain that would ensure that our bag would keep getting terribly stuck the entire way up.

I was nervous about the first 11 pitches rated at 5.11b or c, my limit. I cruised my 10d tricky pro pitch, but pulled on some of the bolts to get through the crux slab pitch. Not trying to make excuses, because I know that I could have just tried harder.. If I was wearing different shoes I probably could have sent the crux. I was wearing my comfy all day shoes that I wear socks in.

Colin pulling through the roof traverse

We got to heart ledges quickly, we weren't trying to climb fast, and got there around 3pm. We had nothing else to do.. we could only fix one pitch ahead of that ledge, so we couldn't climb much further. We sat and baked in the sun and waited for the sun to go down.

Me cleaning the pitch off of heart ledge. 

So the deal when we decided to climb salathe was that we were going to split up the 'wide' pitches. Wide refers to any offwidth or chimney. I'm terrible at this type of climbing. For me it has a whole different rating system. I feel like it is at least two number grades harder. So any 5.9 offwidth feels like 5.11 to me.

I agreed to climb the hollow flake pitch. It is a 5.9 offwidth that you can't protect unless you bring HUGE cams. We only had one, which I had to borrow from my friend Scott. 

This was my entire rack for a 140 foot pitch. One number 6 camalot. You pendulum into the crack and then as you climb, you slowly inch your sorry ass up the wide crack, and bump the cam up. The cam fits in the crack really well about half way up, and then you have a few options. You either leave the cam and put a 10 foot sling on it, put it back on your harness, or bump the cam the whole way up. I decided to go with the last choice. For the second half of the crack, the cam would barely stay in because it was so tipped out. Mentally it made me feel better, knowing that if I fell, there would be a very small chance that the cam wold actually hold, instead of leaving the cam lower and taking a bigger fall. 

This was by far the hardest thing I have ever climbed. Yes, it is 5.9, I dare any of you to go climb it. The pitch completely exhausted me mentally and physically. I definitely thought about my funeral.

Colin leading the next chimney pitch. He's a sick person for liking climbing that kind of stuff.

Photo by Tom Evans. Colin climbing just below the ear.

Photo by Tom Evans. Me leading up pitch 18. Hard. 

A new 6 camalot (worth $130) stuck!!! We couldn't get it. Colin bent my brand new nut tool. Bastard. 

Colin standing on el cap spire, pitch 20. Sweetest bivy ever!! It was a detached 8x8 tower that doesn't touch the wall on any side. We really wanted to top out the next day, so we fixed the next three pitches. It was still my block to lead, but once we got to the spire, I totally bonked. Colin led the pitch off the spire just as it was getting dark, and then I led the next two when it was completely dark out. 

So to get out of having to climb any more wide pitches, I agreed to lead 'the sewer'. It's really called that... WORST PITCH OF CLIMB (see below)

I made Colin get out the camera to take a picture of me so I could remember this haha. It's pretty crazy.. the entire route is dry, and then you get to this one pitch, and it's draining water. There's grass, plants and black shit that you get all over you. I got soaking wet. I can not believe that people actually free climb this pitch... I aided the whole thing. 

Getting higher!

Me leading the roof on pitch 28. SO SWEET.

Photo by Tom Evans

Colin just got done with a hard aid pitch, and was pretty fried. I was ready to lead. So earlier in the day I had the idea that if I led the sewer and the next pitch, that Colin would end up with all of the hard aid. My sneakiness didn't end up working. I'm glad it didn't though. Leading the roof and up through the salathe headwall was incredible. I'm never too psyched on aid climbing, but it was such an incredible place to be. 
Long ledge on pitch 31. I was so happy to be done leading. It was probably the hardest and scariest aid I have ever done. Only 4 more pitches to go. Thank God! 

Score, found these awesome shades. 

Slowly, we inched our way to the top, and finally made it to the last pitch. Colin shouted down "OFF BE-FUCKING-LAY". When the leader gets to the anchor, and secures himself, you yell down to your belayer "off belay", so this was Colin's version.. being exhausted and glad we had no more hard climbing. It was easy 5.6 to the summit. Colin let me lead it. We got to the top around 11pm, and was starving, exhausted, and SO PSYCHED! My third time up el capitan. 

We threw everything off immediately when we got to the top, this is what it ended up looking like haha. There was a really nice two person bivy spot right when you top out. 

We decided to sleep in late (..cough..7:30am) and then slowly packed up our gear to get back on the ground. 

My hands didn't get too beat up this time, my fingers still got swollen though. I was persistent about wearing my fingerless gloves as much as possible. It's called 'wall hands'. From gripping your ascenders, hauling, and continuously pulling yourself up, your hands swell up, and every morning you wake up you can barely make a fist. 

My body is getting used to the abuse that I put it through. I'm not nearly as beat up as the first time I went up the captain. 

The topo of the route. There is one of these for every big route we do. It gives information about how long each pitch is, where you can sleep, and a little information about what gear you need.