In the interest of full disclosure, if you were expecting lusty young climbing babes in tube tops as part of Team Babes, you might as well restart the Boobs thread. Teams Babes here means 20-somethings (age) young climbers that got together with Geezers to crush in Tuolumne….for the most part.
The rendezvous was on…some serious time in Tuolumne was coming together. Team Geezer was to be composed of Michael (Ferretlegger on ST); Phillipe (Guck on ST) and Art…the combined years of climbing amongst the 3 of them approaching about 125 years! Well poor Art broke his foot in Stockholm so he was out for the count. So the Ferret and the Guck, now reducing the combined climbing experience to somewhere around 90 years felt they could provide the safe stewardship and mentoring for the Team Babes. My role, as MotherHen (pecker) is to provide stability, make sure everyone gets to bed on time, have an ample supply of reading glasses, beer, while throwing in some climbing, hiking and scrambling for me.
Team Babes...they are a group of youngin' up and coming climbers, that have become disciples of Phillipe from UC Santa Barbara. See, Phillipe is a retired prof living in Santa Barbara and trains at the UCSB climbing gym. He has become something of a guru to these young climbers, something akin to a “Trad Master” as he shares his stories of epic exploits (of which there have been a few…including the daring “taking a sh*t in the old Abbot Hut outhouse”. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1650185&msg=1651262#msg1651262
) or the infamous “butt belay” in France. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1496782&msg=1498022#msg1498022
So the fix was on and away we would all go and have a grand time. Michael and I left several days early and drove through the Central Valley during that incredulous heat wave. It was 108 degrees as we hit Old Priest Grade. We looked at each other and thought “no” better not, so we wound up New Priest Grade….man does that thing wind and wind and wind. We were hoping it would be cooler in Tuolumne and we were not disappointed…by 40 degrees! Yeah! What a relief! Camp set up we had all the stuff we needed:
A tent, a bug house over the table (new addition this year…we really are geezing, my “never-leave-home-without-it” hammock and a jet boil. Just can't me off the ground....even a fetching Sportsmobile doesn't have the lure of the ground. We are stylin!
This is one of my favorite positions,even missing a shoe.(now this should be on the Kuma Sutra poster for the mature crowd!)
Well Tuolumne can’t be all just laying around (well I suppose it could) … but one of my long time objectives has been to climb up Cathedral Peak. And finally, today was going to be the day. The start from the car was a beautiful blue sky morning.
The beautiful hike there
Mike looking chipper on the hike
And then, so close, yet so far….the sky, the sky, the increasingly gray sky. Not five minutes after this picture was taken the first few large drops of rain started.
Seeing the storm clouds roll in, over Eichorn, I think.
Arghhhh….no, no, no and the thunder, BOOM BOOM,…the only wise thing…retreat. All the way back to the car it was booming and booming but only little sprinkles…until the car, then it opened up. We were pretty lucky. So what to do but head down to TPR to say hi to Lynnie and get a bite to eat.
Yes, the skies did open up in all their splendor
Ahh…Lynnie, my hero…so much fun watching her run around taking care of everyone at TPR…you’d think she was 25 years younger! I just love that woman. She is truly one of a kind…I can't think of a bigger heart than hers.
Team Babe and Tradmaster Phillipe have yet to arrive after driving all night from LAX so Michael and I set out to do a few things. We had an Old School Climbing day when we ran into long time Yosemite climber Chuck Clance who joined us for some easy climbing. No gear? No problem…old school 3 wraps and away you go…
We met another long time climbing couple that were down from Oregon. Although their passion is now ultra running (like they don’t go out for a “run” unless its 20 or 30 K…for starters. ) They still like to occasionally climb and they have hung on to their original climbing shoes…in this case Fires from who knows exactly when, probably at least 30 years ago.
Getting ready to rap down after the set up of a top rope. I actually enjoy rapping but until “over the edge” I’m close to petrified. Once I’m on my way, it’s all good.
All good now, I'm committed.
Some easy climbing for Ferretlegger and fun climbing for me.
One afternoon Michael and I stopped in the Mountaineering store to get some webbing to make swami belts. We were planning on doing some rock scrambling and did didn’t want to carry harnesses and unnecessary heavy stuff (Geezerdom or Smartdom?) Well anyway, when inquiring about the webbing and explaining what we were going to do with it, the young clerk looked perplexed and said “ah, they don’t really do that anymore…and I don’t know how to do it, like, are you guys doing something for the Smithsonian?” We said we knew how to “do it” and no we weren’t doing something for the Smithsonian. So to get the measurement correct I did three quick spins with the webbing around my waist. Oops, too fast, dizziness and even a slight wave of nausea (can you believe it??? Getting old ain’t for weenies). Anyway I tried to act all cool, kinda leaning on the glass counter carefully inspecting whatever gear was on display thinking it would not be nice to puke all over this case. So I waited while Michael did his spins, he did fine, no dizziness. Then they were giving me the expectant look, like when was I going to to unwrap so it could be measured and paid for. Ummm, I thought, 3 spins now the other way???? Oh boy, so I kinda discreetly (hopefully) shimmied and shucked and got the webbing to drop at my feet so I could just step out of it. It all worked out with no puking.
We headed off to DAFF Dome to do reconnaissance on some climbs. I particularly wanted to check out some of the climbs in the Wind Tunnel area. We didn’t go up that side but mainly checked out the stuff on the west side of DAFF. We checked out the Western Front and griped about the run out to the first bolts. True Tuolumne style. Then we kept moving on.
Some unknown climbers on the iconic Western Crack. They were doing quite well with only occasional “f*ck”.
Euros on another icon: Bombs over Tokyo. How’d I know they were Euros? The “f*cks’s” were so melodic and just lovely sounding.
Michael and I ambled further down to what I think was the back section of the Wind Tunnel and ended up doing some rock scrambling. I had hoped to go up to the back side of the Wind Tunnel but the headwall looked a little dicey and of course, we left our webbing in the car…duh.
Well eventually the Team Babes and their trusty TradGod Phillipe arrived. The first morning we did an invasion into the Western Front basically taking it over. There was Fanny, Eric, Christy, Ted, Ben, Michael, Phillipe, me and I think I am missing one or two others (Geezer brain). After a morning on the Western Front some of us went around the South Flank. For me, the hike up the South Flank was sufficient play for me that day. Some days you just know the approach is the “climb for the day” . So I caught some view pics while Ben, Fanny, and Michael stayed to climb.
Invasion of the Western Front
Phillipe tops out
Mike on New Tricks for Old Dogs
Fanny on Green Eggs and Ham (I think)
View pics from South Flank.
At Tenaya, while folks are swimming and cooling off, Phillipe and Fanny do the time tested route planning using the dust on the car. In this case I believe they are planning Zee Tree route for the next day.
And of course dinner back at the campground around the trusty bear locker. So much for the deluxe-bug-house-over-the-picnic-table set up we had. Eventually Mother Hen(pecker), me, shooed them into the deluxe-bug-house-over-the-picnic-table. The evening was spent pouring over climbing guides as we pick out things for everyone: Team Babes members that want to hone their leading skills, Team Geezer members that want to maintain/regain their 10b/c leading skills and me that wants those lower numbers with no “R”. Good luck to me in Tuolumne.
One of our days Michael and I went down to Saddlebag Lake and took the water taxi to the back of the lake and did the hike around the small lakes back up there. Nice hike, a lot of rocky scree, which after awhile I get so tired of. Here I am on the last small rocky scree ascent. It was pretty back there and tons of people fishing.
Pretty back there...
Even though the Mobile Station is the preferred place to fill yer pie hole nowadays, Michael loves the trips down memory lane and we never miss Nicelys. His eyes get misty as he recalls the antics of the past days of “all-you-can-eat” and how gracious the climbers were about it.
Late one night as I stagger up to the john, as I sit on the crapper my headlamp illuminates the door latch. As I rub the sleep from my eyes, I think “no way”. Yup way,… gotta get a pic of this tomorrow. The next day as I creep into the crapper (what pervert takes a camera into the crapper, anyway)…I get the pic. And I laugh, thinking about the marketers for that product and how they must have sat around one Friday night with a bunch of beers and thought up this product tag line!
So Team Babes are back to their cubicles while Team Geezer plan their return to Tuolumne next week to keep strong on those 10b/c leads! and I get all giggly wiggly thinking about Cathderal, Puppy Dome and Pothole Dome. Phillipe the TradMaster will continue to nurture his flock and keep them in awe around the camp fire as he shares the exploits of younger years Team Geezer and how even taking a crap could be an epic event. And me, MotherHen(pecker), Cathedral Peak still has an unchecked box next to my tick list.