Monday, August 09, 2010

Tuolumne

The 老公 and I are back! It was a very packed weekend, so it felt like it barely got a chance to pick up steam before we found ourselves having to pack up to come home. Sigh. We left Friday night in a rush, as we usually do with our weekends away in the bush. Overall, it was very satisfying. I did my first big-wall multi-pitch climbs! It was incredible, both in a good way & a scary way. First day of climbing on Saturday was on Monkey Island.
c/o graniteclimber.com
 We stuck to the west wall, which was more than enough. The guys did 3 climbs/6 pitches while I only did 2 climbs/4 pitches. Of this wall, we did a 5.6 to start, the spider monkey 5.7 to end, and I have no idea what the guys did while I hung out with the ants. They were roughly 150' 320' in height each.

Day 2 climbing was spent on the Bunny Slopes, which was right across the 120 from Pywiack Dome near Lake Tenaya. We did a 5.6, 5.7, 5.7 (all two-pitch climbs), and 5.9 single-pitch TR. Again, I sat out on the second climb 'cause slabby friction climbing is hard on the calves. Our climbs on this wall were up about 150' 320', though we were able to rappel down with the two ropes to a ledge and sort of scramble down to our stuff.

While the climbs don't seem so impressive considering the angle of the rock making it look like you could just scramble up, I can vouch for the fact that they are tough. Day 2 was all footholds, virtually no handholds. And don't be fooled by the ratings either... The fact that I can climb a 5.11a in the gym and can barely do a 5.9 outdoors says a lot.

Overall, very rewarding weekend =D

Fun facts from the weekend:
  1. There were no mostquitoes! I'm amazed considering all the reviews for climbing in Tuolumne warn against bugs.
  2. There was a spider in my helmet all weekend. When I finally shook it out, I discovered it had already weaved a web in my helmet.
  3. It gets COLD at night! I believe the temperature was around 4 degrees Celsius overnight. yikes. Apparently that is what August nights are like in the Tuolumne meadows Lee Vining area.
  4. We barely avoided a storm on Saturday. Grey clouds & thunder rolled in just as the 老公 was making it up the last pitch of the last climb and I still had to wait to follow AND we still needed to hike down the rock. Rain drops hit the windshield just as we drove out. Wasn't huge, but you do not want to be on the top of a mountain when their are thunder storm clouds right over your head. You become an easy target for lightening, should there be any.
  5. I've learned that I like chimneys, which was the crux of our first climb on day 1. Though chimneys with shoes on your harness are not as fun.
  6. I learned how to rappel & tie a backup for rappeling
  7. The thought of something that I'm afraid of makes my palms start to sweat.
  8. My calves are sore.
I think my next goal is to do a more technical climb on a more vertical wall outdoors, but perhaps not so high. Eventually we will work up to leading outdoors, but I've decided that I should take baby steps when it comes to overcoming fears. Photos to come!

Note: The 老公's edits.