Monday, April 28th, 2008

Climbing: Yosemite, We Are Back!

Not having time to pack on Friday before work, so we decided to leave on Saturday morning. It’s been a while since we visited Yosemite last time, and I had forgotten how long of a drive it was. We didn’t arrive at Ron and Liz’s Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn until past ten. It was a full house the night before, and all the guests were still hanging out enjoying the gourmet breakfast Liz put on the table. We chatted and by the time Ron and we headed to the park, it was past noon. We drove to Pat and Jack Pinnacles area for a short afternoon’s climbing. Just like Ron, we were just happy to be out there. Also, it was the first time we saw him after his cancer treatment. He looked great, and already got a full head of hair back.

Erik and Ron led the two pitches of Knob Job, and then we set up a top rope (with two 60 meter ropes) on G-Man and gave that a run. If anyone has seen a person 5’4″ or shorter climb G-Man successfully, please please hook me up with him/her. I love to know how in the world a short person does the upper crux — a blank section at the fourth bolt. The Supertopo says “5.10d lunge”. But my finger tips are one foot short of the horizontal ledge. I don’t think I can lunge one foot on the ground, not to mention lunge off of a sloping hold. There were two moves down lower, where I was already fully stretched out and still I had to over extend my fingers by half an inch in order to touch and eventually grab the next hold. G-Man is a reachy climb for short people, that’s for sure. In the end, Erik led Sherrie’s Crack, a route that starts with a flaring finger crack. It felt hard as always, but I did not fall off.

Although Ron and Liz kindly offered us the last open room at the B&B, for some odd reasons, their basement had a special calling for us — spacious and quiet, and it even has a full bathroom! What a luxury that was. With our sleeping pads and bags, we had a good night of sleep. We didn’t have an early start as we had hoped, but we had a relaxing morning before we headed out to Arch Rock. Erik led all three climbs: Midterm, English Breakfast Crack, and Leanie Meanie. There were fixed ropes on the latter two, so Erik made use of them with Ron’s Mini Traxion. After all, it’s been a long time since we climbed regularly at Yosemite, the rock almost felt foreign now. At Pinnacles, if I bump my knees while climbing, I might dent the rock and I feel like apologizing to the wall. But here at Yosemite on the granite, once I bumped my knees, ouch, that hurt! Plus, the three climbs we picked were not casual climbs by nature — all three got some wide or off-width sections on them. I struggled at the fist crack on Midterm, had an much easier time on the English Breakfast, but then again had a hard time at the higher part of Leanie Meanie, a changing corner offwidth where it was not easy to turn around. We still needed to stop by and say goodbye to our friends, so we called it a day. Offwidth climbing has a tendency to work every muscle you don’t normally use. So, the next day, I was all sore — oh, such a nice feeling.

I accidentally found an old trip report I wrote more than two years ago, and I was surprised to read that I actually led Pitches 1 and 3 on Gripper and Pitches 1 and 2 on New Dimension (I have no recollection now, but that’s why I write my trip reports). Obviously, I did not fall either. Wow, does that mean, at one point, I was actually a fairly brave leader?! 😆

We didn’t take many pictures this weekend.

Purr, Ron and Liz's cat. The most mellow and friendly cat I've ever met. Purr, Ron and Liz’s cat. The most mellow and friendly cat I’ve ever met.

Knob Job at Pat and Jack Pinnacles Knob Job at Pat and Jack Pinnacles.G-Man, a face climb, is to the right of the right-side crack.

Erik leading Midterm. I think he is at the crux, transitioning into a chimney. Erik leading Midterm. I think he is at the crux, transitioning into a chimney.

A local climber making the finger crack on Leanie Meanie look casual. A local climber making the finger crack on Leanie Meanie look casual.