So the forecasts were right... precip in the valley is full on. Me and several other Yosemite refugees fled to Jail House rock. Trad climbers, and even more so big wall climbers sometimes have a bit of a negative connotation towards sport climbers and all of their bolted routes. I don't really care who you are, or what you climb... this place is sick!!!
This is one of the coolest crags I have ever been to. The place is known for the difficulty of the climbing, and the obvious steepness that shelters the rock and keeps little monkeys that climb it dry. The easiest climbs rated at 5.11+, and there are only two of them. These are known as 'warm up' routes.
Brad Gobright and Mason Earle working on their 5.13 project.
There is a special technique used on these overhung routes called knee barring. You can see that Brad is wearing a special knee pad. It's basically a neoprene sleeve with climbing rubber on the frontside that comes in contact with the rock. You get to certain sections where you can use your leg to lock your body between two holds and rest your arms.
Chris, one of the hilarious British guys, leading the 5.11d 'warm up'.
After two full days at this place, I officially have not climbed a single route without falling. I gave the 5.12d route 'Soap On A Rope' enough tries to fire up the tendonitis in my elbows. I finally finished the climb falling 3 times on my fourth attempt.
I'm sort of bummed that my elbows are hurting again, but that means I'm trying hard. It also means a nice rest day in the little town of Sonora at a coffee shop where I'm writing to you.
Tom Evans, who writes the El Cap Report, keeps an update on the valley and all the action on the captain. Here's a pretty funny excerpt from one of his latest posts.