Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rainy Days Sent To Prison

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. 

"At the moment the only climbers on the rock are Kate Robertson, solo on Native Son and Holly Beck, solo on VA to the Trip. So…. well…. The obvious question arises…. Where are the men??? The men are hold up in the cafĂ©, talking shit and contemplating retreating out west to Jail House rock, where they will stay warm and dry on meaningless sport climbs. Nice work men!!"

Tom Evans is the guy that takes all of these cool pictures with his telephoto lens from El Cap bridge. Hopefully he will be able to get a few pics of Colin and I sometime soon! This climber is on a route just to the left of the route that I climbed in January on El Cap. It's plenty steep, so all of the wetness is avoided.

In other news, I had to go on a rescue mission yesterday morning to drive out to Oakdale to pick up my regular climbing partner Colin Simon and our friend Kirill Langer. He had an incident the previous night and totaled his car by hitting a curb. It was nothing serious, other than a $1500-2000 bill to get it repaired. 

I have been in a bit of a mental funk since I got here, but feel like I have come out of it. Yesterday I felt like I was able to shut off the noise in my head and completely focus while I was climbing. It's moments like this when I feel I am truly at peace with myself. The overwhelming joy as endorphins are pumped through my veins reminds me how much I love climbing. 

Colin and I started discussing logistics and pitch by pitch beta on The Nose, The Salathe Wall, and the Regular Route on Half Dome. As soon as this soggy weather clears up, we're planning to get on the wall. 

It's finally happening!  

No comments:

Post a Comment