Trip ReportYosemite Valley - various
My buddy Justin had started leading bolted routes at Pinnacles this past fall and winter, and now was eager to start leading trad. So on Sunday we headed over to Aunt Fanny's Pantry.
I handed him the rack and offered some cursory advice. He'd been reading up, and we'd done a little practice the previous summer at Courtright Reservoir. Up he went -
He made short work of that ! We traversed over to the bolts and rapped off.
Now it was my turn .. off we went to After Seven. My mentor Mike Z. had led this and then put me on the sharp end for my first trad leads.
We only had to wait behind one other party.
I had not actually led this pitch before, so it was fun fun fun. The short bit of face climbing after the finger crack was exhilarating for me. I brought Justin up -
I handed him the rack, and up the second pitch he went.
I didn't tell him it was 5.7 until he'd gotten almost done with it. Good job dude !
We waited for another party to clear the wide crack on the third pitch and I was still a bit frightened of the C.S. Concerto alternate pitch. But no hurry, it was a nice day and we got our turn.
The same stuck cams were still there, left over from last fall (!) It was pretty cool to see a waterfall blowing upwards on El Cap -
Justin's turn again -- he headed up the face to the top of the fourth pitch with aplomb and belayed at the tree. I made haste on the fifth pitch and we belayed at the tree near the base of the last pitch, which he led confidently.
Woohoo ! The scenery from the top of the buttress is always great.
We decided to go do one more climb for the day, and geared up at the base of Sloth Wall. I figured it would be a good way for Justin to get more practice at placing nuts.
A soloist took a lap just as we were tying in, so Justin got a little beta :) I always enjoy this climb, and this time was no exception. What a fulfilling day.
Monday we decided to head for Glacier Point Apron. First stop was the Grack area. Naturally, the center had a queue of several parties so we decided to do the left side, which I'd never done before.
The first pitch was a nice warmup, which Justin led -
The second pitch was more interesting -- kind of reminded me of West Country's second pitch, except left-facing.
It was getting warm, almost hot in the sun. We headed back to the car for lunch and then up to Harry Daley.
I'd followed the first pitch several times in 2006, and this was my first time leading it -
I brought offset nuts and a couple of offset master cams, which worked well in the pin scars. Whew, what a rush ! The second pitch was as good as I remember it. Great views from there.
We decided to go back to Knob Hill and do a bit more crack climbing. I geared up for Anti-Ego Crack, another one I hadn't done yet (and another one on yesterday's soloist's circuit :)
What fun -- some wideness at the bottom, quickly moving into delicious hand jamming and then easy knobulation. Good stuff.
Good times. We headed home, but not before stopping at Taqueria El Agave in Oakdale.
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