Trip Report2012_06_09 Higher Cathedral Spire + Braille Book linkup
Another fun day at the crags... I went nuts with the pictures so go get a cup of coffee or take a bathroom break and let it load.
Earlyish start, the familiar view approaching Cathedral Gulley:
Nice moon and rocks at the top of the gulley:
After scrambling up P1 of the regular route on HCS, getting to the business at the start of P2:
I know, we need to work on having more fun out there, not taking it all so seriously:
It's a beautiful pitch, with a specific 5.9 crux early on (here he's above it):
This type of pro encourages one to not fall:
I think I took the path less followed for my version of P3 (I went up and right where the regular climb takes easier ground to the left). Here's looking down it:
It started off as a cool crack line, then suddenly I was a bit strung out on powerful but solid fingertip sideclings or somesuch. I think it was the technical crux for our path. It's been a few months now, I don't remember well. But here's a photo from the side, taken during the rap. It shows the part before the tree in the preceding picture:
The variation seemed not well trodden, but I did reach an official bolted anchor for some different line. le_bruce seems satisfied with my decision:
EDIT 2012-09-18: Looks like this was the A1 pitch on the Steck Route 5.9 A1 (page 271 on 94 Meyers/Reid). Call it 5.10a now.
Nowhere else we'd rather be:
Just be careful if you have a sausage, he tries to attack it! (I'll probably pay for that... err no I didn't really have to pay for it, I just meant... I'll shut up now)
Can't complain about the position (phew! anything to get off the topic of the last position):
Attentive belay at the start of our P4:
Exploring into the unknown out right. Well we don't know it, which is good enough for us:
And we stumble onto this stellar easy dihedral:
Here's a broader perspective of where we are:
Our P5 is a nice short face problem with just enough protection to not worry about dying or serious injury. A couple of bouldery moves, seen from above:
If I was cool I would have made an animated gif out of that. But I'm not.
So much fun stuff to do in the valley:
We were just ahead of another party, who coincidentally planned to do the HCS + Braille Book link-up just like us! My first reflex was "oh crap, that's what we get for doing normal supertopo routes" but it turned out to be cool. We were laughing up a storm with these guys, but what with my early onset alzheimer's I can't remember their names for the life of me. Please send me a message if these pics are you!
OK, I know this shady character next to me is le_bruce:
All I remember is this dude is funny, and he does have a name:
This guy too:
The view never gets old (at least not when you see it live):
El Cap and the profile of EB Middle Cath:
Team Comedian after the rap (le_bruce, help me out with some names here):
There was a gratuitous supertopian sighting as well. I've already forgot his name once, been reminded, and forgotten again over a several month period. I'm a little better with numbers than with names, but I'm still a disaster:
Edit: It's ontheedgeandscaredtodeath. Thanks!
Enjoying the scenic traverse over to Braille Book:
We let the other dudes go first, and here's le_bruce chomping up P1:
The rock is really outstanding on Braille Book. Unique among the other climbs I've done in the valley, what with all the flowing knobs, pretty colors, etc. Sort of like polished river stones, but all melted together:
Been there. Done that. But so much more there I haven't done!
Here's our compadre again:
Experimenting with flash to address the high contrast lighting challenges:
And more of that yummy rock!
A little better light balance here:
Now we make some new friends, a couple of studs who did Moratorium the day before, and are taking a rest day hiking up Cathedral Gulley and doing Braille Book:
If you guessed that I forgot their names, you might be right. I do remember this guy is from Colombia and owns a healthcare business there:
le_bruce is having his own fun:
But maybe we're having more?
Exhibit 127 showing my packless hydration strategy. next slide please:
This climb just keeps on being beautiful, and in a few spots I was caught off guard how challenging it was. I don't know if this was one of them. Before:
I think the intent of this picture is looking back to show where I went wrong (or shall we just say differently?) and ended up in another variation:
I just had to see what was around the corner, and the view did not disappoint:
Looking almost straight down though it's hard to tell with the wide angle:
This is the "why the heck did you go that way?" face:
But he checks it out when he comes up, and I think in the end he was fine with it. Much better to have air under foot than a cruiser slab finish anyways:
And there he's got the bugger tamed:
I haven't been the other way so I can't really compare, but I think this should be the regular way:
Higher Cathedral Rock is big:
After the traverse into the crack, it's solid enough for me to get fancy with self-portraits:
The tree from another perspective:
Running up the final slabs:
Just looking at that chocolaty rock makes me drool:
Nice views of Cloud's Rest:
And some other peaks that many of you can easily name, but I can't:
I think we cruised over from here to the summit of HCS while we were in the neighborhood. When you've gone that far, you kind of have to:
Looking west to the backside of Leaning Tower:
Every time I end up in this place I feel like it's a reunion with an old friend:
Portraits of our heroes:
And then I start to get mushy and take pictures of everything in sight (even more than the rest of the day):
Congratulations, you have reached the end:
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