Trip ReportEB of MC, Commitment and Surprise TR
A couple of years after I started climbing I went to Lover’s Leap with my friend Mike. He had learned to climb with stoppers and hexes mostly because the club he was in didn’t have many cams. I didn’t have a very good rack so we climbed on his gear. It turns out that two sets of stoppers is a good beginning to a Lover’s Leap rack. At least for the moderate classics we climbed; Bears Reach, Corrugation Corner, The Groove and the Farce. Soon after that he stopped climbing and started road bike racing. Well, five or six years later he started climbing at the gym again so last fall we went to Sugarloaf where I led all the pitches of Scheister 5.7. This is a great climb with a classic chimney in the first pitch. It was actually one of the first true chimneys he’d climbed. Shortly after he was in Yosemite with some visiting family and he went climbing with the YMS. His guide was supertaco’s own Jobee. She must be a great guide because he came back breathing fire and ready to roll! And he was ready to start leading again. Since he was tearing it up at the gym and I prefer to climb longer routes I suggested we do the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral. It would be longest climb he’d ever done but I’d done it before and was sure we’d cruise it. I had two vague notions; one was to free the bolt ladder and the other was to climb the original chimney route. On 10/18/07 we did the route.
Here’s a pictures of the first pitch.
Here’s a picture of P3 from the belay after Mike lead it.
Here’s a picture of P4 looking up the lieback.
Here’s a picture of Mike coming up to the belay on P5.
Here’s a picture of me following P7.
Here’s a picture of Mike following P8.
Here’s a picture of him leaving the belay on P9.
Here’s a picture looking down P10 above the 5.8 section.
Both times I climbed this route this was my favorite part. Not so much the actual moves, though they are good fun, but more just the way I was feeling. Both times I was just starting to get tired so I wasn’t thinking so much, just climbing, making a move, putting in a piece, letting it happen. That’s the best.
I kept going and belayed most of the way up P11. The descent was dry this time so we were pretty quickly back at the car. A really good day.
I took the winter off after this climb. No bike riding or climbing at the gym. I was trying to let my ankle heal because it wasn’t recovering from the surgery I’d had in May. I started up slowly in February. The ankle wasn’t better but I sure wasn’t going to lose a climbing season waiting for a miracle healing. Besides I already had big plans for the summer!
Mike and I hooked up again April 21st. Our plan was to climb some of the Five Open Books. We started with Commitment.
Here’s a picture looking up from the 5.8 start.
Here’s a picture of Mike leading P2.
Here’s a picture of me after the 5.9 roof.
Next we moved over to The Surprise.
Here’s a picture of P1.
The traversing second pitch is really funky. A sketchy bolt, slung flakes, I enjoyed it. The last move down and around into the corner was a bit iffy just because of the rope drag and that I wanted to be above the traverse to give some sort of a good belay for Mike following. I back cleaned quite a bit after I got high enough.
Here’s a picture looking down P3.
Here’s a picture looking up the 10a P4.
I went to the doctor a few days later. They had finally figured out that my ankle problem was actually a back/nerve problem, Spondylolisthesis. Here’s a picture I got off the net.
The drawing on the left shows what the back is supposed to look. The picture on the right looks like my X-ray.
I was in the Docs office looking at the X-ray and thinking, “Dude, you’re broken”! And then in amazement and horror I realized, “Dude, you broke your back to get out of leading P4 of The Surprise”! Now that’s wimpitude.
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