Trip Report
Yosemite and Smith Rock May 2017

by MH2
Sunday June 4, 2017 9:22pm
The asteroid has hit. Climbers Planet has tilted.

In my long time climbing I have seen how the rising tide lifts all boats. And I've ridden out the occasional tsunami. This one’s a really really Big Event.

Wonder and amazement and a kind of gratitude for having the possible revised, once more.

Speaking of water, I like it well enough. But it should stay for the most part in oceans, lakes, rivers, and camel-backs. It should come down in the mountains as snow and slowly melt, and not form vast gradually condensing vapors that hide the sun.

A friend wanted to go to Yosemite. It would be his first visit.

We are driving out of San Francisco during rush hour. We exit the highway and Sierra tells me that Siri has noticed congestion ahead and is taking us around it.

I see a character and clamp the reflex to take a photo.

We get back to the highway. Siri cheerfully tells us that we have saved 18 minutes.

THANKS A LOT, SIRI! You could’ve killed us. Next time use some of that knowledge base to check out the neighborhood you send us through.

Sierra wanted to know why films often show the climbers starting off across the meadow towards El Cap when it is not approached that way. Actually, he knew it was because it looks better that way. I wish that could also explain these shots.

We find how to get there.

Different day, different face.

A good place to be a lizard.

Our rope stuck briefly on the first rap. We may have got a hand from above thanks to these guys, or maybe they were standing on our rope for a moment.

I don’t know. You tell me.

Friends who met on a High School golf team. “It was the first thing we were any good at.”

This was their 10th anniversary visit to the Valley. Very fun to meet them and share the site.

He said the trip exceeded his most optimistic expectations. I can say the same for me.

Sierra sat through traffic on the way back to San Francisco.

Robert and I rested and then drove north.

A ghost

I knocked off a hand-sized flake. I yelled RAAAWWWK!

The people directly below did not look up until the flake hit near them.

I decided I should try a warning a non-climber might understand better. Maybe, “Look out below!”

Leading the next pitch Robert knocked off a bigger flake. I found out after-the-fact that I automatically yell Rock! and that Look Out Below! can’t be delivered at the same volume or speed. I also found out after-the-fact that no one was below, that time.

We met El Llamero Vagabundo on a sort-of almost blind date.

He climbed well and we all escaped unhurt.

It was a good time for snakes. I saw three.

Among other instants of the brief beauty of life.

  Trip Report Views: 1,807
About the Author
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Jun 4, 2017 - 09:36pm PT
classic report MH2,

the mind boggles if Vancouver had the "gloomiest" March on record... we've been pretty gloomy here, too, my Mom would say "misery loves company..." welcome to Yosemite 2017

it's good to be getting out again!
too bad Tuolumne isn't open yet.

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jun 4, 2017 - 09:42pm PT
Sweet trip report...and awesome Mike Doyle cameo! Haha

  Jun 5, 2017 - 01:15am PT
thanks for putting the trip back in trip report.

appreciative of the asymmetric and esoteric even if i'm not always sure my resultant trip was necessarily anything more than a tangent to your trip of a trip report...

but as always: t'was a pleasure...

Sport climber
  Jun 5, 2017 - 02:10am PT

Fantastic TR. Artistic and real. TFPU!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 5, 2017 - 07:28am PT
Thanks....Siri and El Llamero on the same trip!

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Jun 5, 2017 - 07:44am PT
Awesome, MH2!


Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jun 5, 2017 - 09:29am PT
Beautiful on all accounts. Thanks for the share. Makes me long for the place. Way to grind out the bad weather and stay stoked for adventure.


Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Jun 5, 2017 - 09:56am PT
Looks like you guys had lots of fun, except for standing in line at the Camp 4 kiosk ;-)

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 5, 2017 - 10:07am PT
Well done team!!

I woke up in the wee hours and read your TR. Then I went back to sleep and had dreams about climbing with you guys, on a mud tower, worse than Smith, and it was snowing....
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Jun 5, 2017 - 10:29am PT
Outstanding trip report! I especially like the captions imbedded in the pics - class act. The climbing looks lie it was absolutely first rate, nicely done.

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2017 - 06:09pm PT
Looks like you guys had lots of fun, except for standing in line at the Camp 4 kiosk

Our luck was in, there, Dave. We arrived Tuesday morning at 6 am. We were numbers 5 and 6 in the line and in a could-it-get-any-better? new development, they now post in the window of the kiosk how many sites will open that day. On Tuesday it was 45. All the other mornings we saw the line-up was much worse much earlier and even people who carefully counted those ahead were bouted. The ranger harangued a group who had set up a tent. "THIS IS NOT A CAMPSITE!" But they were at the head of the line and got in that day. Robert also got in though he was second-to-last to make it. Behind him a guy was telling the ranger, "But when I counted there were only 25!" So it goes.

Very encouraging to see all the favorable comment.

And great to see Survival come in as a Smith Rock buddy.

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
  Jun 5, 2017 - 06:21pm PT

Your trip reports are as cool as you look when leading 5.10. You flow up a climb.

El Llamero Vagabundo

Just livin' the dream on the California coast
  Jun 5, 2017 - 06:39pm PT
Really enjoyable TR.
Your photos of the mundane are as captivating as your photos of the magnificent (I especially liked that herd of bees).
Thank you!

Social climber
great white north
  Jun 5, 2017 - 08:15pm PT
Hmmm must have been a valley 5.9?
Most enjoyable report sir!

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Author's Reply  Jun 6, 2017 - 08:48pm PT
You should see me flow DOWN a climb, Vagabundo. In fact you could've if you'd been with us today. Sort of like running rapids without a boat.

Edit: And without water.

Those are bees? They were big ones.

Frostback, I think TWP is referring to Smith Rock not The Valley.

Oakland, CA
  Jun 7, 2017 - 10:51am PT
"Road to the Midnight Lightning" - love that one. She seems to be moving toward a future send at about the same pace that I am, or maybe faster.

Thanks as always for your fantastic TR, MH2
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 6, 2017 - 05:12pm PT
Very nice 👍 👏👏

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jun 13, 2017 - 07:49am PT
Really love this one, thanks!

Is smith rock as chossy as it looks? Heading there for the first time in a couple weeks. (I don't mind choss, just curious)

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Author's Reply  Jun 13, 2017 - 09:50am PT
Smith Rock is mostly quite solid where many have climbed before. There are a few regions where choss prevails.

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Jun 13, 2017 - 11:31am PT
Really enjoyed this! Thanks!
Glad you caught good weather at Smith. I was scheduled to be there mid-ish May for a week during my one window of opportunity for travel, but the forecast was cold and rain. My partners who decided to go actually got snowed on one of the days, and did more hiking and skiing than climbing.

Trad climber
  Jun 13, 2017 - 01:27pm PT
. you canooks know how to make it happen. Even when your sparetires on inside out. You fit right in with us gezers from the northwest. Cool to have my you at Smith last year. Other than the traverse Parking lot wall good eh
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