Southeast Buttress 5.6
Trip ReportUpdated and Now Complete: An Almost Cathedral Traverse
Pics are all below if thatís what you are here for! And sorry for typos-
The beginning of this summer started with some very exciting news. It was my last summer of college and I had already done the intern thing a couple of times so I figured it would be fun to work in Yosemite. So I applied and had a job within a week, which came as a surprise to me because Iíve heard its hard to get picked up by DNC because so many people apply. I would, explanation soon to follow, been working at the snack shack on top of Glacier Pt. serving hot dogs and other various crap to all the tourists.
But I also had applied for a strategic pricing analyst position for a company called Micron, they make semi-conductors or memory chips for those of you who are less tech savy. And hereís where they ironic part happens. As I am standing in line at Camp 4 waiting for the ranger station to open I get a call from Micron saying that they want to bring me on board for summer. So Iím standing in the place where Iíd always dreamed of living, but being offered what I thought would be a better resume builder. Long story short, I ended up taking the job at Micron. I could also live at home, in Folsom, and save some money.
I still donít know if it was the right decision for a potential career path because I, like most of you probably reading this despise the cubicle. I ended up leaving every weekend for the Valley, Tuolumne, or Tahoe. So I got my fair share of outdoor time, but it was just a complete 180 from my previous plans.
So sorry for the short rant and letís get on the trip report:
Iíve spent most of my breaks at work and during the day readying reports about people doing the High Sierra traverses (Pallisades, Evolution, Sawtooth, MinaretÖ). So I started thinking about how to get ready for a trip of my own. My buddy Andrew found a link: http://vccv.posterous.com/tuolumne-alpine-trifecta-tenay of a possible Tuolumne linkup. This trip seemed perfect because I had never climbed any of the potential peaks.
I believe the route is somewhere between 8 to 10 miles including descents. Our route was to link Tenaya, Matthew, one of the Echo summits, Cathedral and then Eichorn if we had time.
I checked the weather on Friday before leaving work and it said 20% chance of T-storms for Saturday and Sunday, crapÖ I rolled into the Tuolumne campground at about 10:30 pm and settled down for the night. Woke up about 3 to take a leak, and upon getting back into my tent it started to rain, shitÖ Well got back up about 5:15 am, with no rain but heavy cloud cover. We decided to see how far we could get before the rain hit.
We rolled into Tenaya Lake about just about 6 am and started the approach to the peak. It was a pretty easy approach. We stopped at the base of the peak to harness up. Our idea was to solo as far as possible until we felt like we needed to rope up. Well, we ended up soloing the whole peak. Coming from a person who has never soloed anything but easy 4th class, Tenaya is pretty easy (I know its only 5.4). It felt awesome getting to the top of the Peak at 7:30, only 90 mins from leaving the parking lot.
We stopped at the top to grab second breakfast and then continued to keep going. The approach to Matthes is pretty easy, just cross the meadow and approach the summit saddle.
Matthes was awesome! We elected to simul-climb as much as possible and only ended up pitching out one of the summit towers. It felt great to move fast and do nothing but non-stop climbing. The only real problem we had on Matthes was bad gas! I felt pretty bad for Andrew, because between me and our other partner Matt, we probably had a continuous stream of lethal fumes that stretched the whole mile traverse!
After we got off of Matthes I almost passed out because I felt so bad. Iíve come to realize that I donít get enough salt in my diet for these long trips. I had brought 4 cliff bars, 4 glu packets, and a bag of dried fruit. What ended up saving me was the bag of gold-fish that Matt had brought! Thank God for GoldFish.
We stopped at a stream on the way up to the Echo summit pass and bagged the closest spire. We continued downhill towards Cathedral from there. Cathedral has now become one of my favorite climbs! We elected to simul/pitch it to the top. The worst part was climbing through Mattís fart that he let out in the dam chimney!!
We hit the summit just at sunset and decided we were to beat and had no time to snatch Eichorn, so we proceeded to downclimb and start the hike out. We passed an Asian couple on the way down that probably made it back to camp around 12-12:30. We asked what site they were staying in to tell their friends that they were alright, hopefully they made it back! The last 3ish miles out to the road took about 45 mins, with me jogging every now and then to keep up with Andrewís and Mattís giant steps.
In the end it took us 11 hours car to camp. We probably could have moved faster, but we took a couple nice well needed breaks at streams and also took plenty of photos. It was really nice that the weather held up the whole day, and that we only got a couple sprinkles every now and then.
Hopefully this climb served as a nice warmup to one of the traverses that are yet to come. Me and Andrew have Temple Crag/Gayley/Sill traverse lined up in October, so hopefully that bodes well.
It may not have been the summer I expected, but Iíd say that Iím still pretty darn lucky to be so close to the Sierras.
I head back to school in two weeks (Yah Cal Poly) and am pretty excited because I only have class Monday/Wednesdays so if anybody needs a partner let me know!
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