I spent 5 days in Yosemite with 150 8th graders at Yos Institute during the 3rd week of December. We arrived a day after a week of snow storms filled the Valley, but was greeted with blue skies, familiar faces, and it brought back a lot of good memories on and off the rock. Here are some shots that I hope warm your soul. Happy Holidays - Tom
It is hard to beat the first view out of the tunnel. No matter how many times you go, you still probably still pull over (or at least slow down).
And then when you're leaving, it's hard not to stop one more time before saying good-bye.
The temps in the Valley were in the 20s-30s, and it reminded me of what winter in Middle Earth would be like. Frodo solos you know... just watch the movie.
But I doubt Frodo ice climbs.
Two great faces I was fortunate enough to climb, two of my favorites.
The little nose of Washington.
This was the view from the parking lot. Not a bad view to see every morning on your icy walk to Curry Village cafeteria. Standard breakfast... eggs, hash brown, 5 pieces of bacon, orange juice, coffee, and yogurt. Then a nice 5 mile walk to burn it all up. Ahhhhh...
This guy was practicing some aid on the Aid Route on Swan Slab. His girlfriend deserves a medal. Or breakfast in Curry Village.
On the walk up the Yosemite Falls Trail, the views just keep getting better and better after the 20 or so switchbacks. Nice hike in the winter. We were stripping down to shirts and sweating. I also ran into an old student who was proposing at Observation Point. Small world. She said yes! Congrats Brain and Leann!
This was my first and only Grade VI. On our last pitch we were greeted by two teenage girls with wands and hundreds of bubbles floating on a summit wind. I thought I was halucinating. I decided that hauling sucked and my big wall days were over. But never day never...
The merced was so clear you could read the date on a quarter in 2 feet of water.
The middle falls is my favorite. It gets the least amount of attention, but is the most inviting.
Probably the most famous tyrolean traverse in the world? The first step off the top was the hardest. I brought a pulley to hook into my harness while I jugged across and it made the journey a lot more enjoyable.
I pass below this wall a lot and I always wonder if I'm missing something classic. Looks rad, and I think it is even featured on "Soaring over California" at Disneyland California Adventure.
I've often thought the Arrowhead Arete looked pretty rad. But the approach is unfamiliar to me and looks brutal. Anyone?
My friend Doug Englekirk is trying to tick this one off. He's a towering 5' 6" but I think he's gonna pull it off. Not bad for a guy who doesn't even own a crashpad.
OK, time to play name that crack. A hint... a testpiece 5.8.
It was a great week, despite 3 trips the med clinic with ailing students. Eric at the Mtn Shop - thanks for the rad boots. Enjoy "California Road Trip" ! and I'll talk to ya when you're in SLO. Jordan, great job on the evening program with Cinderella! YI - you did a bang up job as usual.
Hope you enjoyed the show. If you've never been to the Valley in the winter, it's uncrowded and can still be great for climbing. I did the Nutcracker once on Dec. 23 with snow on the floor, but it was awesome once we left the ground. Didn't see another soul the whole day.