Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall in the Valley

Solo Climbing on the Royal Arches

Pendulum on the Arches

Enjoying the Swing

Slab Climbing on Crest Jewel

Long Runout and Off Route on Crest Jewel

Great View of Half Dome

I have arrived in Yosemite Valley for some Fall climing. Unable to secure a site in Camp 4 and with warm temps Will and I headed for Toulumne after taking an evening run on Nutcracker. In Toulumne we got on some of the classic moderate there such as Lucky Streakes on Fairview Dome, 6 pitches 10d; Regular Route on Fairvew Dome 12 pitches 5.9; and Cresent Arch on Daff Dome 5 pitches 10b. With a return to the Valley the weather here has changed and the temperatures are perfect for climbing. The high temps in during the day are in the upper 60's to mid 70's and the lows at nigh in the 30's or 40's.

On our 2nd day climbing in the valley we decided to do the classic linkup of Serenity Crack to Sons of Yesterday, 8 pitches of 5.9-5.10 climbing with a short approach and easy decent make this and enjoyable and high sought after climb. Having done the route earlier in the Summer I knew we needed to be up early to beat the crowds unfortunately some French guys beat us to the base of the route by about 20 minutes. For a party of 3 they moved fast and we only had to wait on them a few times on the route after letting them get up 2 pitches before we started. The route was fantastic as always although some weather began to move in with strong cold gusts of wind and a few drops of rain. We went for the light and fast approach without jackets which meant a few cold moments at the belays and raps. Nonetheless a great day on the stone. On our second day back in the Valley we decided to do another classic linkup, the Royal Arches 16 pitches 5.7 to Crest Jewel on North Dome 10 pitches 5.10 for a total of 26 pitches and close to 3000' of technical climbing. We woke up at 5:30 in the morning hoping to maximize our daylight hours as it gets light around 6:30 and gets dark around 7:00PM. We started on the Royal Arches just before 7:00AM and soloed the route in a little less than 2 hours, taking a casual pace knowing that today would be a long day. After a short break we made the mile hike, 1000' of elevation gain to the base of Crest Jewel on North Dome. We just beat some Euros to the route. The route was quite the contrast to what we had been climbing, going from crack climbing to slab climbing with few holds. The route went quickly despite me getting off route a couple times and heading towards some anchors that were not marked on the topo. We also did not bring and actual topo of the route which made route finding somewhat adventurous. We were treated to great views of Half Dome all day on the route and awesome views of all of Yosemite from the summit of North Dome. What goes up most come down unfortunately and we had to make the long slog down North Dome gully which took us a few hours from the top. All in all it was a 10 hour day from camp to camp and we still had a couple hours of daylight to spare. Such great fun to cover so much technical climbing in a day with remarkable views of Yosemite Valley. Today is a much needed rest day.

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