Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Climbing: A Merry Mellow Yosemite Weekend

Our friend Mike’s wedding brought us back to Yosemite. Initially, Mike asked to climb with Erik on his wedding day just like how Erik climbed The Rostrum with Steve the morning of his/our wedding. However, when we got to the valley, Mike was no where to be found. It turned out that he was so busy running errands that he did not have any time to spare.

Erik and I went to Swan Slab for some moderate climbing. We needed that because it had been so long since we did any serious climbing last time at Yosemite. Erik led up Grant’s Crack. I thought I heard him grunt. When I got on it, I could not believe how hard the 5.9 crack felt. My feet hurt, and I couldn’t trust my hand jams. Oh boy, I felt like a beginner all over again. From the same anchor, we also TR’ed Unnamed Thin Crack (5.10a) and Unnamed Seam (5.10c). I almost gave up on the first one because I couldn’t make myself commit to a move off of some friction stance. Erik led up Lena’s Lieback (5.9) before we retreated in order to get ready for the wedding, which took place near the Lower Yosemite Falls. They put together a beautiful wedding and later, a very nice reception at Cedar Lodge.

The next day, it was Erik’s idea that we went cragging at Schultz’s Ridge Base, Dan and Jerry’s Playground. We were surprised how fun the climbs there were (my first time there). We worked our way from right to left. First, a 5.8 crack, and then a 5.7 offwidth. Erik tried to led a 5.11a super stem route, but did not feel too comfortable with the awkward move before getting to the 2nd bolt so he bailed. Back to the moderate stuff. Up Second Throughts (5.10a), and TR’ed Just Do Me (5.10d) and Are You Hard Enough (5.10d). By that time, our friend Ron Skelton (owner of Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn) joined us after church. We went up New Suede Shoes (5.10c) just because there was a note from the day before taped to the base saying there was a rattle snake in a crack above. The snake was gone already. The day ended on Warm Up Crack (5.10a). It was great climbing and chatting with Ron.

On the way back when we drove through Oakdale, Mike spotted us and we had a brief shouting match in two moving cars side by side before retreating to a phone call between his wife and me since we were the passengers. With a flashy color and a custom license plate, Erik’s car is easy to spot. Later we got any email from our Debby asking us if we knew of this license plate she spotted in Yosemite. We knew it too well.