As I’m typing there is a fan pointed at the back of my head, my knee is wrapped in ice, I’m drinking cold Kombucha (like a good hippy), and still there are beads of sweat dripping onto my keyboard.
There’s only one place I’ll put up with this kind of heat, and that place is a good 500 miles and four mobile limbs away from me right now. In honor of the infamous valley, I present the Yosemite Edition of the Weekly Wrap-Up. Get your fill of post-summer beta and hit camp 4 in style knowing that all the tourons have flocked back to Arkansas to be replaced with patched down jackets and converted vans.
Yosemite Facelift 2014
Each year the Yosemite Climbers Association put on a killer event in the valley to show the park that climbers are more than just low-impact users of natural resources, we are stewards and janitors to our little paradise. The event will be held from 9/23 to 9/28 and sign up information (including free camping!) can be found here.
Fire Behind Half Dome
This past week a small fire broke out just past Little Yosemite Valley near Half Dome (300-500 hectare). Hopefully this fire is little more than a beautiful backdrop and no damage to personnel or infrastructure happened. Check out the helicopter flying over the meadow for scale. Yikes!
El Cap Report
While some may find this old news, each year an El Cap veteran Tom Evans makes the long drive from out West to El Capitan Meadow to take amazing long-distance photographs of climbers making their way up California’s most epic Monolith. Famous for his hard-ass playful attitude and penchant for good natured humor, his dedication to calling out people for cheat sticks and bails make it a sort of right-of-passage before braving the biggest wall in Yosemite, with even yours truly learning the hard way.
Check his web site for updates starting mid-late September, right as the crisp weather rolls in.
Joshua Tree Climb Smart 2014
Well, National Park edition might be more appropriate.
Each year the Friends of Joshua Tree (FoJT) put on an incredible event full of classes and seminars at an incredibly low price ($119), this year from October 17 to October 19. The weekend includes camping and meals and is always a blast. Check the event out below, and while your at it cruise over to their Facebook Page.
Hey look, they are all Yosemite videos! Go figure.
Yosemite Nature Notes
For those who like to pass out watching Netflix, I present an alternative to Bob Ross and Carl Sagan Remakes. Each video looks into a different unique aspect of the park, ranging from the high country glaciers to waterfalls to lowland meadows. I’ve linked a favorite, however click HERE to watch the entire playlist (29 Videos!)
The Salathe Free
To those who grew up climbing in California, who made their way from the tiny flares of Joshua Tree to the grainy cracks of Idyllwild before finally laying seige to the walls of the Valley, there is no greater rock climb than the Salathe Wall. The style of ascent in 1963, casting off from 1/3 of the way up without fixed lines and placing only 3 bolts (!!) in 3,000 feet, defined a generation of climbers interpretation of wall climbing. The climb has been a feature for bad ass stories and will continue to do so, and I offer you one of the latest renditions with Mayan Gobat-Smith freeing the headwall the hard way – Linking 3 5.13 pitches into a monster 230-foot crux pitch 3,000′ off the deck.
A Gift From Wyoming
One of the legends of the Valley, whose legacy included the First Free Ascent of the Salathe Wall and Direct North-West Face of Half Dome, had visions that superseded his time on Earth. Our Hero Alex Honnold checks out the Late, Great Todd Skinner‘s undone project, a direct start to the Leaning Tower route he had lost his life working on. The sit-start, A Gift From Wyoming, is yet another leap in style and vision for the newest generation.
Awwwwwwwyeahhhhh. If the Valley has two speeds, Bouldering is spent on either extreme. Killer explosive movement and desperate slaps amid standing around in a brightly colored down jacket huffing warm air into slippers. This is the life. Lets roll out of bed at noon, climb harder than everyone in a 40-mile radius for a period of no more than 120 seconds, then sip a late while our foreign beau massages spent forearms.
Heading to the valley? Check out these killer resources
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