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#7142 - 10/30/02 02:39 AM Yosemite
Charlie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 271
Loc: Morristown, N.J.
Just returned from a week in the Bay Area which included two days in Yosemite (10/25 and 10/26). Perfect weather - sunny, high 60's during the day, 30s at night. Not crowded. Stayed at Curry Village.
We warmed up on the first pitch of the Center Route (5.7) Reed's Pinnacle, then did a fine, 2 pitch, 5.8 crack climb to right of the Center Route called Ejesta. It starts off a little awkward but protecs very well; the second pitch is fine - solid hand jams and some great laybacking. The pitch ends offwidth hands to an airy hands and friction traverse to a great ledge. This climb does not get much traffic, but it's excellent. Sticking with the crack theme we next did Jam Crack at Sunnyside Bench near the Falls. First pitch has a polished 5.8 move right off the deck then it eases up, protects very well. Second pitch begins 5.7/5.8 hands and ends up 5.9 fingers. An excellent pitch. It also protects very well. We were the first ones on Jam Crack; by the time we got to the second pitch there was one party gearing up and another waiting. It's a popular climb. We headed to the base of El Cap next and did La Cosita Left, a stiff, very steep 5.7 (perhaps the steepest 5.7 in the Valley according to SuperTopo) crack in a chimney. It requires a chimney move about midway up; it's a physical climb. We wound up with Little John Right at the base of El Cap. This is a stiff 5.8 and an excllent climb. Crux for me was right off the ground - two old pitons below a bulge are a clue to the challenge ahead. I basically grunted my way through - not very pretty. Pitch one leads out right to a large ledge with bolts. Second pitch was the psychological crux - a 5.8 airy traverse across a face that seems featureless. After the 5.7 mantle at the begnning of this pitch you enter a crack and climb to the second of two old pitons. There two small hand holds appear on the face to your left and your left foot is on a hold. Switch feet and reach far out with the left foot to a depression, weight it and reach into another crack with your left hand; that gets you across and stable enough to place a piece for your second. A ramp takes you to the beginning of the third pitch - a beautiful 40' hand crack. This pitch begins with a small bulge and then the jams are perfect. The belay is from a huge ledge; the rap anchors off to the left were loaded with fixed lines for those doing El Cap routes high up the face.
It was a great two days of climbing with Jeff my old climbing partner with whom I climbed for several years when I lived in the Bay Area. Back to the Gunks; he's coming out in the Spring to check out the Gunks.

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#7143 - 11/06/02 08:05 PM Re: Yosemite [Re: Charlie]
buzzardboy Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 105
Loc: Pennsylvania
Cool trip...sounds like fun. I was also just in the Valley from Oct 23-27. I didn't get a lot of climbing in because I was helping a friend was was doing a 100 mile run complete with a climb up Nutcracker (5.8) at mile 60. She did this all in one push which took 37 hours. I did the first 60 miles with her. After the run, I did have a chance to get on a few pitches near the Falls. I agree that the first few moves on the first pitch of Jamcrack are tricky--especially for Gunkies who see few vertical hand cracks. The short lieback flake about 40 feet left of Jamcrack is fun. I think it's called The Limit(5.8). The actual highlight of my trip was staying in Camp 4 and meeting some really interesting people including Jim Bridwell, Dean Potter, Ammon Mcneely (who actually climbed Nutcracker with my friend), Mark Synott and Leo Holding. The Valley was really buzzing with activity and energy. October in Yosemite is a special place.
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