Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The key to life is keeping things in a constant state of "Hominy"

Moonrise over the ridge next to Half Dome.

Yosemite has been one of the biggest highlights of the trip so far, racking up somewhere around 10 straight days of our time. We completed a spectacular amount of trad routes around the park, including: Half Dome, The Grack, Nutcracker, Central Pillar of Frenzy, and countless other shorter routes. Our time was divided between climbing, fending off black bear invasions, and staring in awe at El Capitain (...until next summer).

Welcome to the jungle: El Capitan loomed larger than life over many of the climbs we did over the ten days we stayed in Yosemite Valley.

The sheer beauty of Yosemite was quickly thrown into stark contrast with the suburbs of San Francisco. We spent just enough time in San Fran for Brett to pass his paramedic test (...huge relief), catch up with an old college buddy, and then retreat as swiftly as possible out of the confusion and back to the woods. It turns out after ten days of old fashion living, we couldn't handle even one in the city.

Brett making the stretch on Knob Job (5.10b), at Pat and Jack's Pinnacle.

After revisiting several days of Full House memories, we decided to say goodbye to the Tanners (thanks for putting us up, Tim) and take our chances driving back North up to the Tahoe area. As it turns out Tahoe (7,000 ft elevation), in November, .... is cold. We experienced some of our first cold weather climbing of the trip on Lover's Leap wall. Despite the temperature, a relatively deserted and free weekend campground was a blessing. After suffering through numb appendages on the first day we shot for a very late start on sunday (not till 1 pm), in an attempt to allow things to warm up. Our plan worked surprisingly well, however, it did involve finishing up the last pitch to the summit in the dark (check the video for a great sunset clip). We also threw in a clip of Brett's sick double dyno jump on the Lover's Leap wall, tribute to the late great Danny O (for those of you who haven't seen it, look on Youtube for Dan Osman's ridiculous free solo climb on Lover's Leap Wall).

Brett and Phil topped out on After Six (5.7, 600'), at the Manure Pile Buttress.

Outside of a little cold the trip so far has gone shockingly smooth. Our only notable injury is Phil's self-diagnosed "Accelerator Shin"; an injury provoked by spending too much time driving (Bonner please look into this). We've discovered that raw eggs (2 every day) make a spectacular nutritional addition to any trip where the team members fear cooking and dishes (all of this is Farmer approved). Our diet has consisted almost wholly of oats & eggs for breakfast, and assorted cold canned food dinners (Canned hominy has been a trip changing food discovery).

Tim Hazel sends a steep hand crack on the second pitch of the Central Pillar of Frenzy (5.9, 550'), on the Middle Cathedral Rock.

We have since fled the cold weather south to Bishop, CA. The Owen's River Gorge and surrounding area should keep us busy with some shorter sport climbing routes for the next week or so. At first glance Bishop appears to be a town small enough that we can manage to hangout without feeling like lab rats in a maze. We still have yet fo find internet quick enough to upload our videos to youtube without hours of frustration...

Tim on the first pitch of Surrealistic Pillar (5.7, 300'), at Lover's Leap.

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