Tuesday, June 3, 2008

10 Day Climbing Buffet

Climbing for ten straight days sounds like a great idea, right?  Well, what about ten days of rain?  Sounds less appealing, huh.  Well, Justin, Seth, and I thought it would be a great idea to take three days off of work for the Memorial Day week and climb for tens straight days.  We planned on hitting up some of the best spots the sierras have to offer.  Lone Pine, Bishop area, Mammoth, and then finishing off in the Yosemite Valley.  This sounded awesome before the weather report started to change.

We planned on leaving on the Friday, drive up to Alabama Hills at Lone Pine so that we could have a full day of climbing on Saturday.  But after since that it was raining on Friday in Lone Pine, we decided to stall departure until Saturday morning.  So after some last minute errands and packing Travis, we arrived in Alabama Hills in the late afternoon.  We decided to warm up at Shark's Fin on a 5.7, 5.8, and then a interesting 5.10A that had a tricky start.  After that, we headed over to some other spots to climb some 5.8's and 5.9's where we all lead the routes.  

(Seth on the 5.10A on Shark's Fin)

After a good day of climbing, we check the forecast for Sunday and we all get bummed.  80% of rain EVERYWHERE and snow above 7000 feet!  This changes plans very quick since our thought of heading north to other spots just got smashed.  So after some cursing mother nature we decide to head south on the 395, connect to the 58, and drive to the south entrance to Yosemite.  Although it was a full day of driving, it was a moral booster to think we'd be in the valley for the rest of the week since the forecast was predicting a handful of splitter days during the week.

Arriving in the Valley late Sunday, we discover a worry we all had as we drove up.  No campsites!!!  Hm, well I guess time to park the camper van and hope we go undetected from the rangers.  Not the case... OPPS!  At 1 A.M., we are awaken by a lady ranger telling us that, "We must come out!".  Busted...  Although Justin and I are on the "Yosemite Shit List", we were able to score a campsite in Upper Pines for the rest of the week thanks to ranger Jane.

(Seth and I getting ready to crash in Travis)

So now with a campsite and hopes to climb some stellar climbs, we are all pretty psyched.  Now if only mother nature would play along.  This is not the case at all!  It rained more than half of the day everyday we were in the Valley.  Although it rained quite a lot, it didn't stop us from climbing some great routes.  Monday, we went and climbed Bishop's Terrace (5.8), a fun 5.10A where unfortunately Justin tweeked his shoulder.  Tuesday Seth and I climbed the Grack (5.6 and Seth's first multi-pitch climb lead).  Wednesday, Ira got into the valley and we attempted to climb After Six (5.7), but after the second pitch rain came in and we had to bail.

(Justin on the 5.10A)

After dealing with rain for the last five days and it not getting any better until Saturday, we decide to head back since sitting in a van all day is not as exciting as it sounds...  there goes the ten days of climbing.  SAD!

Now although the week didn't go as planned. Weather sucks, Justin injury, and never being able to get away without of bounds camping again... it was still a good time. As many say, "You could be at work..." and thankfully we were not. :)

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