Lost in America, El Capitan A4 5.10

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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Beaners.
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Early morning light.
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This picture feels so iconic to me. So Royal Robbins (minus the high-tech porta stove.)
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Twilight clouds.
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This is me getting used to the portaledge (staying as close as possible to the rock).
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Going into the climb, I was always a little wary that these three small bolts at the top of each belay could support all our weight. I'm still amazed they work like they do.
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Nate and Calder's climbing ability was so impressive to me. This was a small roof we encountered about halfway up.
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As expected, we spent a lot of time just 'hanging out' while Calder or Nate led each pitch. Being so still (not really doing anything) was was a big change from my chaotic life back home. I enjoyed the solitude.
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Climbing into the fog.
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That's Enoch jugging with Horsetail Falls in the background.
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This is Enoch (on the right) swinging out before jumaring up a pitch. The occasional swing was always a bit of a heart stopper for me.
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This is Calder setting up a belay. Looking at El Cap from a distance, it looks like Lost in America is realtively straight up and down; but the extreme overhang is intense. The angle of the rope (in this pic) does a good job showing this.
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This guy was soloing Mescalito. He got stuck in the rain and actually came down before returning a couple days later once the weather cleared.
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Calder and Nate took turns leading the entire way up—with Enoch and me working exclusively as the hauling grunts. It worked out pretty well as we saved the pro guys from having to wear themselves out.
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With there being four of us—and with two of us being rookie—we knew we would be a slower-than-average El Cap party. So we planned the trip at the beginning of May knowing the crowds would be thinner; but also knowing the weather to be more unpredictable.
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We were cogniscant not to keep food overnight at the base (we kept it at the top of the pitch 1). We did, however, leave some water bottles at the base of the route. When we arrived the next morning, we found two bears checking them out.
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Nate fixing pitch 2 in the fog.
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Before we took-off, we fixed the first couple of pitches. It was storming pretty aggresively; but those on the wall stayed perfectly dry. Those at the base had to take cover.
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Humping supplies back to the base. Nate (pictured here on the left), was BY FAR the most in-shape of all of us and was happy to haul more than his share of goods.
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This is a photo-stich of the valley (from the base of Lost in America).
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