Wednesday, July 1, 2009

East Buttress of Middle Cathedral

Today I climbed the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral Rock in Yosemite. This is a 11 pitch 1100' climb rated 5.9 A0 or 5.10c and is one of the 50 classics of North America and offers great views of the valley and El Cap. I had done the route before so I new it was good and we were looking for something that would receive some shade in the afternoon. I partnered up with a Scottish climber named Alex who is here to work with the Yosemite Search and Rescue team as part of his medical school program. We got an alpine start to beat the heat, and started climbing by 6:30AM. We enjoyed pitch after pitch of great featured rock that is characteristic of Middle Cathedral and fun corner systems. We made good time up the route, on the next the last pitch it began to sprinkle on Alex's lead. I followed the pitch as fast as possible and as soon as I reached the belay it was raining hard. The last pitch was mine and included some thin moves off the belay and 165' flared chimney to the top. The chimney was turning into a water fall as I was climbing, I powered through despite the wetness and made it to the top in good time. As soon as I brought Alex up the rain subsided, by the way "it never rains in Yosemite". We reached the summit at 12:00PM and made it down the decent and back to the car by 2:30, followed by a quick swim in the freezing Merced River. Just another day in paradise.

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