Friday, November 06, 2009

The Most Fun

Will Stanhope and I made a one-mission hit to Yosemite Valley at the end of October. Upon arrival in the Valley we immediately packed our haul bags and jugged and hauled to Heart Ledge. Our plan was to set off the next day and intercept our bags after climbing the Freeblast and continue on the 42-pitch Golden Gate route (A. Huber, VI 5.13-).

I was climbing this route totally off the couch, having done zero real climbing since my trip to the Bugaboos in August. Most of my summer was spentwalking around the Canadian Rockies training for my alpine exam - not conducive to hard rock climbing. In the months of September and October I worked exactly 40 out of 43 days with many 12+ hour days. In the week prior to the trip I got two days of training in at a climbing gym in North Van. Otherwise my life consisted of rigging rock and roll shows, slaving on film sets, or doing safety for the vertical dance troupe Aeriosa.

Hot day time temps meant redpointing in the sun was out of the question... at least for us... Early pre-dawn mornings were standard for trying the hardest pitches, while most of the day was spent hiding from the sun under the portaledge or climbing and hauling the easier pitches. I was really, really happy with our effort. Will managed to send every pitch and I failed only on the final 5.13 - the A5 Traverse - on our 7th day and exactly 6 falls off the very last move! Heartbreaker!

This route is totally amazing and without question one of the most fun experiences of my life! Now I am fit from crushing my body for 7 days on a bigwall and ready to learn how to climb hard again this fall/winter!

Willy on his first try on the henious 5.12+ down climb pitch. I figured out some trick beta, and about 60 tries later the lanky kid managed to send the scrunched crux.
This is why El Cap freeclimbing is the coolest thing ever!
Willy on the 5.13- 'Move Pitch' at sunset.
Kinda worked! Joes O's on the portaledge. Day 4.
Worked again. Willy demonstrating how NOT to clip in on the Tower to the People.


Stein said...

*You* rock man!

JK said...

No, You rock, Stein.... ;)