Thursday, October 23, 2008


The Valley!
Nolan and I ventured to Yosemite Valley in October (or "Rocktober," as Nolan calls it) to climb The Nose.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, we bailed from the 6th pitch and the route was too busy to make another attempt.  Instead, we spent 7 days climbing ultra classic routes.

7 parties on the first 8 pitches of The Nose?!  Apparently this is standard in Rocktober.

Middle Cathedral Rock, East Buttress (5.10a, 11 sweet pitches)

Scouting Braille Book (5.8+, 6 pitches).  

View of Lower Cathedral Spire from one of the upper pitches of Braille Book.

Another sweet belay beneath classic climbing.  We must be in the Valley.

Royal Arches (5.7 A0, 16 pitches!)

Nolan following the wild tunnel-through pitch of Reed's Regular Route (5.9, 4 pitches).  I barely fit through that chimney.

Does climbing get any better than this?  Nolan leads the 2nd pitch of Reed's Direct (5.9).

Side view of Reed's Direct.  Note the vertical strip of white rock where the lichen has been rubbed off from the countless ascents.

Unequivocally the heaviest pack I've ever carried (100+ lbs). I was hiking so slowly to the base of El Cap with this beast.

Predawn--psyched for The Nose.

Nolan follows the first pitches of The Nose.

We had several hours at this 2-bolt hanging belay to take photos, make countless plans and backup plans, and listen to the team in front of us bitch at each other.  They weren't too happy to be on one of the most classic climbs in the world.  On the other hand, we were happy to be there...until we had to bail.

How to bail from the nose. Step 1: Pour out the 50 pounds of water you just hauled for 6 pitches. 

Cragging at Pat and Jack Pinnacle.  Nice knobs.

Middle Cathedral Rock

I can't get enough photos of The Captain.

This is how much it costs to fill a Suburban in CA.