Monday, June 11, 2012

Inclement Weather

We spent the last week enjoying some amazing climbing in Tuolumne Meadows, the higher elevation part of Yosemite National Park. We were there two years ago, and were excited to be back to get on some climbs that we were unwilling to do on our last visit. First up was South Crack 5.8 R, which despite some serious runouts was a nice jaunt up the Stately Pleasure Dome.

Next up was one of the 50 classic climbs of North America, The Regular Route 5.9 up Fairview Dome.  Despite it being a super popular route we decided to climb it on a Sunday, hoping that a late start would see most of the traffic already out of our way. Unfortunately a seemingly slow party had just started as we got there, and we still had to wait an hour at the base. We decided to use the time wisely.

Thankfully the party ahead of us, who self admittedly had very poor crack climbing skills, were actually reasonably fast once they got through the first few crux pitches, and we didn't have to do any waiting on route. Here I am on our 3rd belay ledge, 600ish feet up, looking across to Daff Dome.

Here is Kristal leading our 4th pitch, just after being passed by a free soloist.

And here we are at the top, with Tuolumne Meadows in the background.

The views were spectacular as usual.

Even the walk off was pretty cool.  Here is the party that climbed behind us as they started down the descent.

For the most part the weather was pretty much ideal, except for one day when a storm decided to roll in.

We opted to take a rest day and head down to Mammoth Lakes to enjoy the hot springs and resupply. Little did we know that while we were watching the hail from the comfort of a restaurant, the road to Tioga Pass, along with access to our tent, was being closed. At least the storm made for some interesting pictures.

Thankfully we ran into our friends Faith and Dirk (again!) in Lee Vining and between some of our extra sleeping gear and an extra blanket from them we were able to survive the night in the car without freezing too badly. We were a bit apprehensive about our tent though. The last time we left it unattended during a storm, a couple of years ago in Utah, it was completely destroyed when we returned. Hopefully the same thing wouldn't happen this time.

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