Prow C2F 5.6
Trip ReportThe Prow, my first wall 6/2012
July 2011 I was taking my "lead test" at Planet Granite in Sunnyvale. We were real climbers now I thought. We can lead climb. Although looking back this wasn't the major accomplishment I though it was at the time, it got the ball rolling for what would be my obsession for the next year and still is. I still remember my first trip to the Valley, realizing I didn't have any of the gear I needed to climb there. I didn't know how the hell to use a cam or nut, let alone what a good placement looked like. I went and bought a set of nuts and proceeded to climb everything I could with these nuts. I obviously wanted to progress, and ended up selling just about everything I own to buy a rack. Once I had the rack, my life was over.
At this point all I thought about was climbing. Aid climbing had not come on my radar yet, but I was excited to free climb. I spent most weekends through the winter in the Valley and was starting to become a half way decent free climber.
In Yosemite I always find myself looking up. It's hard not to look at the immense granite walls and think, someday.... I now knew I needed to learn this aid climbing stuff, so I redirected my focus. I spent a few months practicing on different c1 routes and spent A LOT of time jugging. After a few months of practice I was finally getting the hang of aiding and was now just kind of slow, instead of horribly slow.
I spent months trying to convince various other noob wall climbing friends that we should go for it and get on a wall. Some of my friends refused to learn how to aid climb, so they were out, and others were willing but did not have the time. Finally, I ran into an old coworker who was up for it. I knew he climbed, but had no idea he was into walls, and had done a few already.
He wanted to do Zodiac....in two days.... Some of you probably saw my other thread "Zodiac noob beta," which I posted partly because I did not feel prepared for Zodiac as my first wall, and mostly because I did not feel ready to do it in two days. I borrowed some pins and heads from my friend Brad Young (mtnyoung) and he gave me some encouragement (although he knew I was gonna die fer sure!)
When we showed up in the Valley on Thursday (6/7) Zodiac was packed. I was pretty happy about this haha. I said let's go check out Washington Column since we only have two and a half days to climb something. We scoped out the Column and saw The South Face was packed, but The Prow was empty. This seemed like a good way to go because the aid is at least c2 so it will be at least a little more exciting for John since he has some experience on walls, and not too difficult for me. Decided, we are doing The Prow.
That day we hiked up to the base with plans to fix the first three pitches that afternoon. When we got to the base we saw a soloist starting up the route....crap! Luckily he was super cool and said he was going to stop at the top of the first pitch and we could pass! We decided to do the 10b alternate start, which was very fun free climbing.
4:30 is just way too early to wake up. We had went back and forth the night before about just finishing the route the next day or hauling more (including a portaledge) and spending a night on the wall. John is all about going light and fast so we decided to send the route the next day. This being my first wall I was a little worried about going fast, but I was up for it...until we woke up at 4:30. We both looked at each other and without saying anything both knew we wanted to go back to sleep. But a little suffering is part of walls right? We manned up, cleaned up camp, and headed back to the base of The Prow.
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