Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yosemite Update

I've been in Yosemite for about a week now and the weather has been amazing. In fact, it's been so nice that it's been a bit too warm on Lurking Fear. I've worked the crux pitch three days now and am trying it again this afternoon. On the first day, I spent most of my time searching the rock for the minute holds on the crux 2nd pitch. I figured out most of the moves, but left some for later. My second day up there was pretty much a wash. I went up pretty early in the morning hoping that the route would still be in the shade because it's on the west side of El Cap. Unfortunately, the route is in the sun all day long this time of year because the sun is so low. I tried some of the moves on the crux pitch, but it was so hot that I was worried I'd slice my fingers to shreds. So I came down and did a bit of bouldering instead. The bouldering conditions were so amazing that I started wondering if I was doing the wrong thing focussing on a bigwall route. On my third day on the route, I came up late planning to do most of my climbing after dark -- strange to be doing that in November in Yosemite. I made progress on the crux pitch doing some long links and coming close to sticking the crux sideways dyno. The dyno is a bit harder now because a key hold that you used to dyno from broke. It still goes though and probably isn't too much harder. Hopefully today I'll get more links and stick the crux move a few times.

On Sunday, I'll head up there, haul the first three pitches and stay the night at the base. Then Monday morning, I'll have a last ditch effort at redpointing the crux pitch. I'm not too optimistic that it will go because the climbing is very technical and delicate and it's easy to make a mistake. Plus it will be difficult to keep my skin good and my feet from hurting throughout the whole pitch. Even if I don't redpoint the second pitch, I'll still climb the rest of the route and try to do most everything else free. If I do manage to pull off the 2nd pitch, I'll still have lots of hard climbing to the summit including the other crux pitch which could prove to be more desperate (though it is shorter). In either case, it should be a fun outing and the weather looks perfect.

I'm psyched.

Unfortunately, I don't have any interesting photos from the wall. I have a short low-quality video of me repeating Midnight Lightning that I'll try to put up tomorrow before I get on the wall.

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