A quick visit to the Valley - Trip Report


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Sport climber
St. Louis
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 19, 2006 - 06:05pm PT
It's Tuesday afternoon at 4:30. My bags have just arrived from the airport. They were fortunate to stay behind in California a full day longer than I was. It wouldn't matter much, except that my computer cord was packed in them. With the return of my cord, I can sit down and hack out a little TR.

I arrived in Sacramento late Thursday night. I had several hours to kill waiting for my partner, Arno, to pick me up. He was in the area already giving clinics. He arrived around midnight and we drove to the valley. It was sort of fun entering the territory in the dark so I could wake up and see a totally different world all at once.

The first morning, we drove into the park and just looked around. Though he's been there many times, I hadn't. I got the standard 200 photos of rock walls - stuff many of you see everday. I look at the photos now and wonder why I felt the need to take a photo of El Cap, Half Done, Sentinal and other prominent features EVERY TIME I SAW THEM. I'll post only one photo from this series... (uh oh, how can I turn this?)

I was sort of bummed that Yosemite Falls are totally dry right now. Glad to have seen photos of them when they are blasting. It must be spectacular to see in 'real life.'

We headed over to the lodge to grab some breakfast. While there, Holdplease2 came over and joined us. It was great to finally meet her after talking with her here, and over email for some time. Here she is with Arno...

After leaving Holdplease2 behind to nurse her thumb (a thumb meets rock wall at too high a speed accident) we headed to Cookie Cliff to get busy. I have no photos of this day of climbing since I forgot the camera in the car. Doh!

Anyway, we could at least see why we'd met in Yosemite - The Rostrum...

Very pretty. I admit to being a bit apprehensive after hearing words of encouragement from many people...Words like "You are going to die!!" "You will never make it up that thing" "You know there are no crimpers on the Rostrum, don't you?" "Do you KNOW how hard Yosemite is???" I just kept telling myself that I've done many, many multipitch routes - though not in Yosemite - and I'd make it to the top here too. Plus, I'd at least have two days of climbing before we headed to the Rostrum to see how I do on Valley granite.

While at Cookie Cliff, we did "Cookie Center" "Waverly Wafer" and "Wheat Thins". These were great fun and they actually boosted my confidence. I did get a bit tired hunting for the crimpers though. ;)

It got late (and cold) on top of Cookie Cliff. We hustled out of there and headed to Curry Village for some time in front of the fire and a buffet. Nothing like the spice of a day of climbing to make any food taste fantastic!

We then headed to Yosemite Village to meet up with Ed (preparing for the slideshow Saturday night). Here I met a super cool woman and I kept thinking "I know her." Sure enough, it was our very own Jobee - so nice to finally meet her in real life!

The next morning, we headed into the Valley. We were greeted with a lot of smoke. Seems there was a fire near Cookie Cliff. I wondered if our climbing plans would be spoiled because there was a lot of smoke - enough to make climbing in it not possible. After breakfast, we headed to Reed's Pinnacle for day two of fun. Before hiking up, Arno enjoyed the view from the roadside...

Here we did "Reed's Direct" "Lunatic Fringe" and "Stone Groove."
Sorry that I can't remember or likely didn't even know the grades to any of these climbs. If anyone knows, feel free to post it. Grades or not, I can report that Lunatic Fringe and Reed's direct do indeed have crimpers.

Arno could only shake his head as I honed in on these tiny features when a giant crack was in my face. These climbs were quite fun. The last one, Stone Groove (or something like that) was the hardest one as far as I was concerned. I've learned to fear certain words like "flaring" and "arching" and "rattly hands." Seems this climb had a lot of the scary adjectives attached to it. Or maybe I was tired. But likely it was a lack of technique because I can assure you - there are no crimpers to be found on this line. Arg!

Following these lines, we each found a sunny spot and took a cat nap in the sun. Nothing like two days of climbing to make even granite soft enough to sleep on well! After our naps, we headed in for some Curry Village pizza and beer. I rarely drink beer, but I easily put away a tall glass of Pale Ale that evening.

We then headed to the Amphitheatre where Arno gave a slideshow. Before the show started, Chicken Skinner came by. Another Supertopoian in the flesh! That was quite fun!

The next morning, we headed to the Rostrum. I keep calling it the Rostrum, and some people tell me that is the name of the wall, not the route. The route we did I think is called the Direct route or something like that (I'm not into details, okay).

The smoke was gone so it was a go...

Before heading down, Arno took the time to jot down the route using a couple of guidebooks. The consistency between them - or lack thereof - was sort of funny. One pitch was described in one book as a 10d, and in the other book as a 9!

Arno had wanted to get on this route for twenty years. He onsighted it with style. Not every part went free for me. Especially that 11c/d finger crack section. Damn. I would like to thank a particular TCU for helping me out in this difficult section.

I have many photos while on the route. Most of him are rump shots (nature of the beast). I'll post a few of them below...

Someone asked me if I thought I'd really have any fun on that climb. You tell me...

Here comes jammergirl...

There goes Arno....

Like I mentioned before, I *thought* I'd done off width stuff before...I was wrong. It was physical and fun fun fun! Plus it makes one SO happy to have a jam that they don't even think about a crummy crimper...

Well, unless they find another crimper! Now don't think all I did was crimp. That was not possible. I also did my other favorite climbing move - lay backs. A lot of lay backs. Wow do I love those things!

Needless to say, we made it to the top at about 7 pm on Monday evening. After a quick summit photo, we scrambled out to a dinner. A delicious dinner and coma followed shortly thereafter....

The end.... (time for a nap again).

Social climber
Sep 19, 2006 - 06:21pm PT
Nice trip report & photos, jammergirl!

Trad climber
Sep 19, 2006 - 06:31pm PT
very cool, thank you for posting this.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Sep 19, 2006 - 06:31pm PT
Nice trip report. Y'all were brave to take on the Rostrum after a day at the Cookie and Reeds (tiring!).

Did Supertopo Ed give a slideshow last weekend?

Trad climber
Sep 19, 2006 - 06:39pm PT
nice pics Crimpergirl. so what did you really think of the Valley?
the Fet

A urine, feces, and guano encrusted ledge
Sep 19, 2006 - 06:40pm PT
Good stuff, thanks for the write up.

Too bad you missed the falls, but you know they turn them off in the Fall to save water. You'll just have to return in the Spring.

Sep 19, 2006 - 06:41pm PT
Hooray for you, Crimpie! Nice pics and report.

BTW, here's how to turn pictures.


Sep 19, 2006 - 06:44pm PT
Shoulda seen Yosemite back in the 50s. Place was downright bucolic.
Mountain Man

Trad climber
Outer space
Sep 19, 2006 - 06:50pm PT
Thank you.

Sport climber
St. Louis
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2006 - 06:54pm PT
I must say, I knew El Cap was steep, but as my photo (and OUCH's photo) demonstrates - it's REALLY steep!!

Here is a photo of Yosemite Falls when they've turned off the water....

The water is almost turned off completely at Bridalveil...

And for Blinny, some nice photos to entice your return...


Social climber
The West
Sep 19, 2006 - 07:00pm PT
As first trips to the valley go, that has to be about as good as it gets. Thanks.

Gym climber
Sep 19, 2006 - 07:04pm PT
Sleeveless in the Rostrum OW, that's proud. Nice TR...
Mountain Man

Trad climber
Outer space
Sep 19, 2006 - 07:18pm PT
Yosemite Falls in wetter times June 7, 2004

BridalVeil looking good. Same trip


State of Mine
Sep 19, 2006 - 07:18pm PT
nice shots and report. what kind of jams does jammer girl like?

btw, that aint bridalveil falls i dont think. they turn that water off too. if you look in the trees i do believe you will find bear 46 relieveing himself...sorry to burst your bubble.

Trad climber
From a Quiet Place by the Lake
Sep 19, 2006 - 07:32pm PT
Crimpie goes to Yosemite for the first time and pulls off some great climbs. Thats the way to do it.

Sep 19, 2006 - 07:51pm PT
Forgive the hijack, Crimpie. Two pictures of the same place. 50 years apart.


Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Sep 19, 2006 - 08:03pm PT
S'up crimpie....

I had just gotten off the Trip when I happened across you in the caf...we sat at tables next to each other. You had about 4 folks at the table and I didn't feel too social and was quite frankly exhausted and haviing manual dexterity issues.

Glad your trip was fun, and sorry I didn't have enuff mojo to add one more ST'er to your list of folks you met.

mark miller

Social climber
Sep 19, 2006 - 08:18pm PT
Wow first time to the Valley and you got all those climbs in 3 days, fantastic!
I've been up Bevs Tower 3x to do Wheat Thins over the last 25 years and have never gotten on it yet, twice rain and lighting and once crowds....

Trad climber
Hell A
Sep 19, 2006 - 08:52pm PT
Crimpie, everyone knows you haven't climbed the Valley unless you've climbed an Apron route.

Sport climber
St. Louis
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2006 - 08:53pm PT
Thanks all. It was a lot of fun. And to my surprise, I'm not too very scraped up at all. I have some very spectacular bruises on my legs though. One thigh jam got me. :)

I'll post some bruise photos later!
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