August 15, 2010

Climbing Road Trip Part III – California

After getting stormed off of the Grand Teton, Ava and I were scheduled to meet up with Kris and Mel (friends from Seattle) in Yosemite for a week of climbing in Tuolumne Meadows. We drove to Truckee, CA and spent a day there with Ava's parents. As usual, it was great to see them and wonderful to have a real house to stay in for a couple nights. On our way down to Yosemite, we stopped and climbed at Lovers Leap, linking Surrealistic Pillar with Corrugation Corner for perhaps the best seven pitch 5.7 climb in existance. What made this even better was that Ava is leading trad climbs now and she was able to take some of the leads!

Corrugation Corner
We had dinner that night at the Strawberry Lodge, a place that is eerily reminiscent of The Shining before driving to Tuolumne Meadows. The next day we climbed Northwest Books on Lembert Dome while waiting for Kris and Mel to show up, which was a great introduction to Yosemite granite. The fun picked up dramatically upon their arrival.

The four of us had a great time camping, drinking beer, and climbing for seven days. Over that week, and in various combinations we climbed:
Bull Dozier (5.7), Dozier Dome;
Holdless Horrer (5.6), Dozier Dome;
Northwest Buttress (5.5), Tenaya Peak;
Great White Book (5.6R), Stately Pleasure Dome;
West Country (5.7), Stately Pleasure Dome;
West Ridge (5.6), Mt. Conness;
Haystack (5.8), Lovers Leap; and
spent a day toproping 5.7 to 5.11a climbs at Murphy Creek.

Kris, Mel, and Ava about half way up Tenaya Peak
All these climbs were of fantastic quality and constituted trip highlights. I was particularly fond of the climbs on Stately Pleasure Dome and the West Ridge of Mt. Conness, but I think I still like the climbing at Lovers Leap best of all.

There are so many "you had to be there" stories, I don't know where to begin and they wouldn't make any sense here anyway. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

The 4th pitch of West Country
Second Pitch of the Great White Book
West Ridge of Conness
Ava high up on Conness's West Ridge
We are currently taking the weekend off to avoid crowds, but plan to spend one more week in the Tahoe area before heading north so I can begin instructing a NOLS course out of Washington. For obvious reasons, I want this summer to continue indefinitely.

No comments: