Lost in America, El Capitan A4 5.10

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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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 upówith 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 usóand with two of us being rookieówe 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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We had to haul crazy amounts of gear, food, and water. This is on our way back down for another load. Living in New York, I'm used to walking a lot; but by the last load of supplies, my knees were worked and my body completely exhausted.
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Massive and monumental (on so many levels).
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This is Enoch and Calder scoping the route from the base of El Cap. The background looks like a Sears photo-studio backdrop (except it's real).
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This is the best practice Enoch and I had prior to the climb. For some reason, jugging 60' up a tree in my backyard is about 20X more scary than doing it on El Cap.
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