We started our climbing on Razor Back, the ~300 ft high wall that connects Fairview and Marmot domes. We've enjoyed climbing Bryan Law's routes on Dozier and were psyched to climb some of his more recent work on Razor Back (not sure if you read this stuff, Bryan, but if you do, thanks a lot for giving us a bunch of awesome routes!) We climbed Flash of the Blade and Slasher - both were really fun. It was a great place to start the week and get our heads dialed to Tuolumne slabs.
The Regular Route on Fairview was our main goal for the week. We'd driven past it countless times, staring up in awe at the forbidding face and thinking some day we'd give it a go. While climbing at Razor Back we witnessed the throngs gathering at the start of the Regular Route and realized that if we wanted to climb it we could either be cold or crowded. We chose cold. We rolled into the pullout at Fairview ~6:30am and the car thermometer read 38F...ugh. Fortunately a brisk hike uphill to base of the route warmed us up and we were ready to go.
That night the rain came back bigtime and we awoke to a sopping wet and fairly muddy tent. So we escaped to Mammoth to dry off and explore. Over 4th of July we had met a guy on Bear Creek Spire who suggested that we check out Crystal Crag. He billed it as a fun, moderate, multi-pitch mountaineering adventure that was 10 minutes outside Mammoth. We were hooked...
We wrapped up the week at Clark Canyon, a sport crag near Mammoth.
A few days later, we returned to Tuolumne, aiming for the West Ridge on Conness. Exactly three years ago (Labor Day Weekend 2009) we climbed the North Ridge in a 16-hour car-to-car epic that included me puking at the top of the second tower (poor acclimation) and us descending off the summit in the dark. This time we were armed with a back-country permit and planned to camp at Young Lakes to give ourselves a night to acclimate before our climb. The 6 mile hike went fairly quickly and we were rewarded with stellar views of Conness from Young Lakes.
While Young Lakes is a spectacular setting with great views of Conness, its not quite as close to the mountain as we thought. The approach the next morning still took us 2+ hours.
We moved quickly on the climb (compared to our prior ascent of the N Ridge), pitching out ~7-8 pitches and then simul-ing the rest, and made it to the top by early afternoon.
There were two parties that had come up the North Ridge and another that came up West Ridge. Everybody was really stoked from the great weather and awesome High Sierra climbing. Conness is a classic for good reason! We hung out and had lunch on the summit before heading down and back to camp at Young Lakes.
Overall, that ~2 week spurt of climbing was incredibly rejuvenating and reminded us why we love the outdoors, and in particular the Sierras, so much.