Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yosemite-Royal Arches; October 2011

We were not moving quick in the morning after the previous days long descent and visiting with Roger Suen in camp.  The next morning we chose to go for Royal Arches 5.7 A0.  It is a Yosemite classic long easy climb.


We go to the base at 10:45 am a very late by the often start time of 5 am.  The first pitch here was classic Yosemite physical chimney.


The chimney bought us to a long traverse ledge with a little 4th class climbing.


The ledge brought us to the base of a nice 5.7 crack.


Great views back to El Cap.


Views up the valley to Glacier Point Apron.  Since Anja’s hand was hurt from the slip on the talas the night before I was doing the leading.


We go to the flake system leading to the A0 pendulum.


There was a fixed rope on the pendulum which made it very casual.


We were catching up with a party in front of us and Anja wasn’t going to let the climb go by without at least one lead.


So she fired up on about pitch 6.


Views just kept getting better.


Looking down from pitch 7.


We topped out with 8 pitches at 5:30 pm.  Just under 7 hours on the route.  We took the rappels down.  This took about 2 hours in large part because we had caught the party in front of us who was fairly slow on rappel.


That night we drove to Tahoe to see Bill and Leslie.  Like father like son the little Suen was ready to take over the wheel and drive us home to SLC.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lower Cathedral Spire 5.9; October 2011

It had been raining the past days but we thought it would be ok to go for Lower Cathedral Spire’s Regular route.  It is 5.9 about 5 pitches but the 5.9 can be aided and becomes 5.7 A0.


The approach is really long and steep, plus it was slippery from the previous days rainfall.


After over an hour of hiking and scrambling we could see the route on the spire.  It goes up the left skyline to the large ledge and then traverses right on the ledge then up from the ledge to the top.


Anja gave the first pitch a shot but found the route finding to be difficult and set a belay and brought me up to confer on where to go.


The views on the route were stupendous.


Since at this point we were running a little late I took over the leads and found the route and shot to the ledge.  We did the traverse on the ledge and found the A0 move where I quickly pulled on a piton and swung though the 5.9 and onto the slightly chossy 5.7 flakes above.

After about 150 ft of climbing it was mostly over and it was 1.5 more pitches to the top.


We hit the top a little late but with daylight and got on rappel.  We got back to the base just after dark and started down the talas gully.


It was a bad descent as it was dark now and the talas was already covered in dew which made descending very slippery.  Anja slipped once and jammed some fingers and her hand.  I took all the weight I could from her and we finished out a kind of miserable descent in the dark.  Onto Royal Arches the next day.