Wednesday, October 10, 2012

El Corazon

$350 for hiking a load to the top of El Cap and Half Dome how could I say no?  Madaleine and I agreed to launch off on El Corizon in two days on 6/7.  It was 6/5 and I as hiking the first load of 40lbs. to the top of El Cap .  After a few hours I dropped off the load and Madaleine and I climbed for the day on the upper pitches of El Corizon.  After jugging out I picked up some climbing gear that was dropped off and hiked it down.  After a quick dinner I went to sleep at 11P.M. My alarm went off at 2 A.M.  and I was off hiking another 40 lbs. to the top of half Dome. What a rest day haha. 

The remaining of the day was spend packing up our haul bags.  This was going to be my first time hauling on El Cap.  We began climbing at 4:30 A.M. and climbed to mammoth fairly quickly.  This is where the hauling began and my inexperience began to show.  It took us the majority of the day to do 3 pitches to a ledge.   We both managed to figure out the beta on the first 5.13 pitch called The Beak flake for the following morning. 

Climbing up freeblast early in the morning 
Hauling is a slow but rewarding process 

The next morning we both sent the Beak Flake.  The next pitches went quicker than the previous day since we got our systems more dialed.  After a few pitches we found ourselves at the base of a 5.12d pitch that was protected almost entirely with peckers.  I fell once and then sent second try as did Madaleine.  
Madaleine crushing the crux Beak Flake 5.13b

The next pitch is called the Bunny Slop and is a 5.12c R pitch that even Alex Honnold was scared on.  While talking to Alex the word “very exciting” was said many times.   I lead out with a hammer clipped to my harness along with peakers, blades, and a bunch of other aid gear I have never used.  Clipping a blade pounded behind a flake that moved with the slightest amount of pressure I began laughing.  It was comical how awful the gear was.  I committed to the technical and delicate moves and at one point felt my body coming out from the wall.  I tensed up and was able to regain my balance saving a horrifying fall.  We spent the night here and the following morning we lead the whole corner system that included some of the best climbing on the route.  

Madaleine running it out on an amazing 5.10 R pitch

Madaleine bone crushed as she sent everything first try and some of the pitches she had not red pointed previously.  Spending the night on tower of the people was a treat with it being in an amazing position on El Cap.  The following morning we sent the two hard pitches first try and went for the summit that turned out to have one last treat for us.  Our haul line got stuck behind a block and since I linked the last pitches we where unable to hear each other.  This led to an extremely frustrating game of tug-a-war until finally our lines freed. 

Me on the jaw dropping roof pitch 5.13b

We hiked down and had a victory jump off the El Cap bridge into the Merced to cool off.  This was a great route that is fairly adventurous.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Prophet

My eyes filled with water instantly, my body felt like a shaken pop bottle ready to explode with emotion and excitement as my eyes feasted on El Cap.  I began screaming out my window “El Cap mother fucker.”  It doesn’t even make since but I was back in Yosemite! It had been two years since I had felt this magical feeling.  After a nights sleep I hiked up to the top of the Prophet and tried the A1 beauty a few times. “ This pitch is nails hard I thought” after struggling to do many of the moves. 

mini traxioning the A1 Beauty  Photo Tom Evans 

In early may I felt the magical feeling again of driving into the valley and was ready to send some routes.  After a 13 hour drive from SLC I stuffed my food in a bear box and hiked up to the top of El Cap.  As I gazed out at the sunset eating dinner and drinking tea I thought how accessible El Cap is.  In one day one can drive from SLC and be on top of El Cap.  The next morning I revisited the A1 beauty and did the opening moves first try.

Hiking a load in the rain/snow

 I was stoked all the Crimp Shrine and finger strength sessions had paid off.  Over the following two weeks I fixed the route and began putting the route together.  Climbing by yourself on El Cap can get lonely but in a way it is also liberating.  You can sing to yourself and shout ridiculous shit without anyone hearing or caring if they do. 

Breakfast before rapping in

After days and days of effort I was ready to hike up to the base and climb the route with a great friend Madaleine Sorken.  It was my Birthday and as we approached the base water was pouring down the slabs.  We where forced to hang out for 2 hours to let it dry out. 
Trying to use my powers to dry the slab

another shot of the A1 Beauty Photo Tom Evans 

The first pitches went smoothly with the R pitches not bothering me as I turned my mind off and simply climbed.  By dusk we where at the Devils Reacharound that was my variation to avoid a mind boggling 7 foot sideways dyno to a side pull.  I gave The Reacharound two attempts to figure out the moves then threw in the towel for the day.  Madalaine had a surprise for me as she pulled out two cup cakes with a smile on her face.  She sang me happy birthday it was dreamy haha. 
After the Devils Reacharound with the pink power nano rope

The next day we woke up super early and after some effort I was able to send The Reacharound.  By this time the A1 Beauty was in the sun so I decided to wait until evening to give it a go.  We slept and listened to the Steve Jobs biography to kill the time. 
Waiting for the shade to come

At 5 P.M. I booted up, ripped off the tape covering my gobied finger and pulled on so hard my feet popped off.  After a few minutes of rest I pulled on again and felt great moving effortlessly while feeling feather light.  I quickly found myself at the rest before the final crux.  Breathing deeply I began climbing up the delicate moves then gritted my teeth and gave the final big move all I had screaming.  My finger gushed blood but I did not care I had sent the A1 beauty.  I screamed “I am the mother fucking pterodactyl” and then slouched in my harness and laughed. 

There was still one last pitch with a difficult boulder problem that took many attempts but I finally made the move and climbed the remaining of the pitch by headlamp.   I could finally relax completely knowing that I would not have to climb any more dangerous R pitches. 

Madaleine and I are currently in the JFK airport on my way to Kyrgyzstan to climb some of this stuff.   I will try to update if internet is available.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Boulder Must'a Been High 5.13c R/X and China Doll 5.14a R

I have an amazing school schedule right now where I have class one day a week!  The last few weeks I have been trying to take advantage of what could be my last free time before Nursing School starts (if I get in).  The valley looked really good a few weeks ago so I went out to try the prophet and it is very hard.  Much harder than I had expected.  The A1 Beauty is perfect rock and an incredible pitch but it gets wet in the spring from horsetail falls so it seems like a fall mission is necessary.  I would be really psyched to give that route a BIG effort.
 The A1 Beauty

After some snow I met up with some friends at the recently opened Jailhouse.  This crag is a savior for the valley.  You can climb in heinous rain and many times it will be raining or snowing in the valley and the Jailhouse will be sunny.  After this short stay I had to jet back to SLC to take a test and then right after my test I cam out to Boulder.

 Horses at JH

Candy Store in Sonora, Ca

 A whole Wonka room haha

 Studying in the Meadow
 Fashion hula hooping
 First Flat Iron makes for one great rest day activity

  This town is funny in more ways than one with the excessive amounts of overpriced grocery stores filled with $1500 cars but people are buying $5 apples haha.  I guess to each his own.  One Friday night I went on a stroll around Perl street and stumbled in a outdoor store that was filled with people and loud music.  When I entered my jaw dropped there was a fashion show going on and all I can say is WOW.  On the other hand there was Avery beer and Hors d'oeuvres that made the ridiculousness more bearable.

The Rincon wall is an amazing piece of rock that is great in winter sun and is stacked with hard gear routes.  After warming up a Brad, Cody, and I went to work on Must'a Been High.  I figured all the moves out on my first burn and then surprisingly sent on TR on my second try.  After sending on TR I knew there was only one thing to do and that was to pull the trigger and lead the rig.  I fell low after clipping the knife blade my first go and made some minor tweaks to my beta then sent next try.  I was supper excited with having drove to Boulder getting in at 3 A.M. and sleeping for 5 hours and then sending this route in a day.
 Must'a Been High

Video of me on the crux 

The next route on my list was China Doll.  This route is five stars in anyones book both aesthetically speaking and climbing wise.  Brad and I went to work TRing this pitch and we figured out all the beta and after a few days I was ready to give it a go.  I kept climbing fairly effortlessly through the 5.13c section and then falling at the same move the first day.  Knowing I was not fully recovered from the many TR laps a rest day was in order.  I went to the Boulder Library for some studying and did a evening solo of the First Flat Iron which is a must do classic 5.6.
China Doll(Fred Marmsater Photo)
Must'a Been High upper section

On 3/18 Brad, Anthony, Angela, Fred, and Joe went out to Upper Dream Canyon.  When we rapped in to China Doll we were shocked to see a party of aid climbers all racked up and ready to aid the line.  My stomach sank because they were there first and had the right to the line.  After talking to them for a ten min. or so they graciously let us have the line.  THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for your generosity!  After my first burn I noticed how rope drag was killing me for the upper crux so I make some changes to the gear.  I started to climb and felt very good flowing through the crux of the 5.13c, however, I got to the spot where you are run out and noticed that I forgot the green Alien SHIT!  I told myself it was fine I have never fallen here so I kept climbing being 25 feet above my last piece.  Finally after a few move I was able to place a .75 and continued to the rest.  While resting I decided to undo the tape around my pointer finger even though I had a large gobi.  At the rest I again forgot a .4 so I only had one good piece but once again I decided to go for it!   Feeling good I punched it and hit the good lock jacked my foot up and then another problem.... The rope was behind my leg.  I tried to get the rope around my foot but was unable to and my pump was growing fast.  I just went for it climbing well and confidant to the top of the difficult section.  Whoo Hooo I shouted and this is where I was supposed to place a green c3 but of course I forgot that piece as well.  There where some pieces left for directionals but I did not want to make my ascent a pink point so I climbed the rest of the 5.11 with not gear risking a MEGA ride onto a purple c3.  Getting to the anchor felt incredible because I was safe and sent the route haha.

County Club Crack is not doubt a classic

Anthony and I finished off the day with a run up The Sting and Country Club Crack both very fun classics in Boulder Canyon.  After climbing we drove down to Avery for some celebratory beers.  Drinking Avery beer makes you aware of not being in Utah that is for SURE!

Send Beers at Avery!