First Valley Trip of 2012

La Cosita LeftAh! The first club Valley weekend of the season! What a great trip with a big turnout. Many of us traveled up on Friday morning to squeeze in a bonus day of climbing. We were greeted by warm temps, sunshine, and lush green scenery as we approached the Valley. Not to mention the raging Merced River and the waterfalls that drain into it. Sonja, myself and two visitors to the club stopped to climb at Reeds Pinnacle and Five and Dime on our way into the Valley. The pull-out was abnormally full (especially for a Friday morning!) and we just barely squeezed in. We clamored up The Original Route (5.9, two pitches), bruised our knees on Bongs away left (5.8 OW), and attempted (and failed) a clean ascent of Stone Groove (10b). Still marveling in the beauty of such a great day and with 2 hours of sunlight left, three of us ran up After Six (5.7, 6 pitches) starting a little after 6 o’clock.

El CapOn Saturday Paul M. and Mark I.  decided that climbing After Six only once was boring and did it three times to practice simul-climbing. Christine, Susana, and Leslie went to the Sloth Wall on Saturday to bask in the sun at the mouth of the Valley. Dan climbed with Heike and others up Sunnyside Bench, and a large group of us including Sonya, Sebastian, Marius, Paul S., Neal, Miki, and myself headed to the base of El Cap to booty dropped nut tools from climbers above. We also climbed Pine Line (5.7), Little John Left (5.8) and the La Cosita pair (5.7 and 5.9). We had a mini-epic on La Cosita Right when Paul’s rope unfortunately wriggled into a crack and got stuck while he was being lowered (oops!). But hats off to him for volunteering to lead us up Yosemite’s steepest 5.7 (looking up at it, it seems utterly sandbagged). I think the group of us unanimously decided that the El Cap base routes are old school routes with old school ratings.

AND…Not only was this a beautiful spring weekend but it was also Dan Z’s 60th birthday weekend!  We celebrated around the campfire with beers, mini-cupcakes, and climbing stories. Happy Birthday Dan!