Monday, June 14, 2010

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.


  1. Hi Cheyne! Thanks for the tour around Yosemite. What a beautiful place. I have to admit this is the first post that I didn’t have to stop and pray for you as you described, in such great detai,l your latest accomplishments. You amaze me! It made me feel good to hear you are starting to miss home. You’ll know when the time is right. We miss you and love you. Mom

  2. Hi Cheyene, I'm a climber from Florida (yeah I know the flattest state in the nation). Right around the time I decided that I was going to make a run at the Nose your blog appeared in my Google search. It's been really fun following your posts and your progression/transformation has been amazing! I'll be in the valley on the 4th through the 18th of July, if you're still there I'd gladly buy you lunch in exchange for beta/banana pancake recipe. Good job and keep the posts comming!

  3. Thanks Mom! I sure miss home. I promise though.. I'm being super safe!

    Jadubovsky.. I'm not quite sure if I will still be here when you arrive. If you ever have any questions about the nose regarding the rack or any type of beta I could definitely answer most questions.

  4. I want to know about this Tom Evans guy. How does he make a living? There has to be a way that he is making money by being out there taking photos of climbers right?