Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CA Winter - The New Spring

 With the excitement of a trip to Patagonia around the corner, I made sure to take advantage of sunny California winter and climb as much as I could in January. If the weather down South sucked, the amount of climbing I have done in January would keep me a happy. That's what I said to myself, but no, not really. When I don't get to climb, I get fairly grumpy. Not as grumpy as when I am on a long route and my sugar is dropping, but that's what I told my friends when they proposed I do something other than climbing over the weekends. When a few got married, of course it had to happen in Yosemite as well...
Me short fixing the hollow flake while Richard is cleaning the Great Roof. Nose in a Day (El Capitan) in January! (Photo by Kaylene Grove!)
This place is da bomb.com!
Good morning
On Silent Line
The drive is the only shitty part about getting out...
During the month of January I got on long routes, led and top roped multiple hard one-pitch routes in a day. It was a little sad to not get much precipitation this winter, but the rock loving egoist in me was excited about every weekend spent in a climbing paradise. The place which is a bit too crowded and too hot for my taste during most of the year, was pretty much perfect in winter.

Sending Crack a go go (5.11c)! Pretty scared here, looking to place a piece of pro.
Window exit on Silent Line. What a blast!
Views from the Silent line
The Rostrum! Not this winter, but I got on the Blind Faith in the end of October!
The Nose!!! One of the best climbs ever!
Mr. Honnold about to do the King Swing
The Nose was an obvious highlight of the month. It was Richard's first time on the route and neither of us really short fixed before, but it went fairly well and we topped out after 19 hours of climbing. Not great but not bad! I was super excited, but mostly sore and beat like a dog. The route itself was like a long blur,. In addition, it was way too hot for January and we ran out of water about 8 pitches below the top. I took a block from the ground to past the king swing and as I was climbing the Texas Flake I heard Richard talking to the team who just jugged some fixed lines to El Cap tower. At one point he was like "Well we are no Alex Honnold, I guess you could pass us." Wait, I though, what if those guys are gonna slow us down? Why did they have those fixed lines anyway if they are so fast? Turns out he was actually talking TO The Alex himeslf. They were shooting some movie about climbing the Nose. I decided that they will not hold us up for too long. :) Watching the guy climb past us was sort of like watching one of those kids flashing my gym proj, in fast motion.  
Mike doing some good face climbing on Chapel Wall
Me on the Silver Strand (January 2nd 2015). Happy New Year!
Bishop has much more than pebble wrestling and good alpine :)
Run the PDL and really go for it!!!! Stovelegs on the Nose!
Ribbon Falls, right next to the Silent Line (Gold Wall)
Sending the Crack a go go was also a surprise. I have tried it on TR a few times prior but it was a big struggle. Not sure why I thought leading it would be a good idea that day. My forearms were worked from a previous day of climbing and the sun was out. In any case, I had a mood swing that said 'CLIMB IT, your friend has a nice rack with offsets hanging right below the climb.' So I did. It was a fight and I was at my limit for the whole duration. Great experience when you do a route that takes you to your absolute max. Past the crux I got really pumped and couldn't get a blind nut in after a few attempts. I wish I was stronger to hang out in that spot and get some good gear in, but I wasn't so I decided to climb another body length or two to a better stance. That was fairly terrifying but worked out well.

Top of North Dome after Crest Jewel. Such a fun climb in a great setting! This was November as I remember, right before the first storm.
Learned how to use a stick clip! Rad brah!
Burned a few calories scoping out a future FA proj
Burned a few other things...
Had some BOMB Mexican food too...
Prior to January I did a bunch of other good climbing around the state. Crest Jewel and Blind Faith linked with two trips to Owens River Gorge were some of the funnest that I can remember. Even though I do not do much sport climbing, I wish we had something like ORG near closer to the Bay Area. The place rocks! And food in Bishop is not bad too! Love that place. At some point in my life I will have to spent a few years living there.

From Chocolate to Morphine (AWESOME 5.11d)

Friend's wedding in Mariposa
Added some wide climbing for good measure
The Leaning Tower. That along with Watkins are two major formations I have not climbed yet!
Routes in January: The Silver Strand (ice climb), Silent Line on Goldwall (IAD), Astroboy, El Capitan via The Nose in a day, Commitment and The Surprise at Five Opened Books, Catchy, Butterballs, Crack a go go, Outer Limits, Freeblast, Orangutan Arch, Elevator Shaft, Red Zinger, Butterfingers and probably a few more that I forgot.

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