Friday, August 20, 2010

Tuolumne, Day 2

At long last, here's my adventure from, jeez, two weeks ago-ish.

So, since there were five of us, two of the guys very nicely agreed to have me be a third. This makes life slower. Even slower when you "caterpillar" (one at a time) versus whatever the term is for bringing two people up at the same time. We only did one pitch non-caterpillar, so it was slow.

We did South Crack on the Stately Pleasure Dome. I knew it was going to be interesting when the climb up to the first belay freaked me out. It didn't help that I didn't have good approach shoes, so after the first 15 feet I started sliding down. I fell on my butt and then put on my climbing shoes. But it was at least 40 feet of what I would call low 5th class climbing (class 4 technically you can do without rock shoes).

G did the first pitch, a 5.8 section with crack. When I followed I did ok until the space where I had to move over to get the second part of the crack. 5.8 slab. The f**k's started coming out, and didn't stop the whole climb. I gotta get over that. The second pitch was a runout pitch, and R did that one. Then me on the 5.6 crack, which I did without too much trouble.

Here's a view from halfway up or so.

I'm sure I'm not remembering the order right, but G did a pitch of 5.7ish runout. Here's what it looks like:
It's kinda like why bother holding a rope if you have no gear...but I guess if he fell it wouldn't be down several hundred feet.

Anyways, the last pitch was very similar to the one shown in that photo though supposedly 5.6. I felt a little confident since I had to follow that runout (and maybe two) pitch and so when it was offered to me, I thought and thought. Said out loud, what's the worst that would happen if I fell? The guys didn't reallllly like that way of thinking, and were giving me shit to see if I would still want to do it after being given shit. I decided I'd do it.

I carried way too much gear. When you are leaning over standing on the rock face it just gets in the way. Technically the straighter you are, the best traction you have, but it's just way too disconcerting, so I was bent over. By the time I was just near the place where I could put gear I had so much fear I was almost paralyzed. But, I kept going. And made it.

If you remembered from my skydiving days, such mental focus really wears me out. I brought the two of them up, and then was told I had to walk 20+ feet over to the rap station. Hundreds and hundreds of feet up, and no gear. I almost started crying. R offered to 'short rope' me over there (hold a rope and me hold the other end), which enabled me to get up and walk. But was purely a mental help, because even as I was doing it I knew if I fell what he was doing would mean nothing.

Anyways, we got to the rappel and went down one rope length. Some people don't do that and just walk down from there. Here's a photo of what it looks like AFTER a rappel and you still have to walk from there.

Needless to say it took me a long time to walk down. It was freaky.

Anyway, I survived and we met up with the others and went swimming in the river. Amazingly beautiful and cleansing too - a bonus since there are no showers in the campground...There were actually some kids (boys) sliding down that chute, so three of us did that also. Cold! and Fun!

Anyways, it was a nice day. Scary climbing and then relaxing, as opposed to only scaring climbing. These guys have the right attitude - 4-6 pitches in a day is enough - you don't have to climb allll day.


laura b. said...

Oh man, just looking at the photos makes my head spin a little. I'm in awe of your bravery!

KenV said...

Looks like a blast! I loved swimming in creeks & rivers when I was a kid. Sliding down rock waterslides is fun!

I need to do better at giving my girls those experiences...

Mel said...

k..the swimming I can do.

The rest--notsomuch......


Ananda girl said...

Holy moly!!!! You are amazing! I would have wet my pants and they would have had to air lift me off after I'd frozen in place.

What a great experience. Way to go.

Vlad Steven said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!! Increible paisaje y las rutas de escalada!!!!