Monday, May 24, 2010

Yosemite, May 2010, with Shirley Wes & Kay Wilson

Shirley and Kay are planning and preparing to climb the East Buttress of El Cap in June and have been polishing their wide crack skills in Moab, UT and Red Rock, NV with guide Amie Barns and now here in Yosemite with me. Not many folks chose to work on their wide crack skills as it is so physical, gotta hand it to these gals.
The Mountain Guide

The Iota Chimney, Kay and Shirley wanted ( they really did) to polish their wide crack skills as we prep for the East Buttress of El Capitan in mid June. I have guided for YMS, Yosemite Mountaineering School since 1984 and can count on one hand the number of times people have requested chimneys, fist cracks, and flares. Way Proud !

Next, off to Reed Pinnacle, regular route, and Bongs Away (not shown) for some variety in our skill development. And to have a little fun of course.

Kay Wilson on pitch 2 of the Braille Book, a 5 pitch 5.8 up Higher Cathedral Rock. It was a gorgeous day out, with a few parties behind us. The Valley was as beautiful as ever !

Pitch 3 of the Braille Book, way off the deck, stemming away, oh so good !

Shirley, Doug, and Kay on the descent from Higher Cathedral Rock.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yosemite, May 2010, A day on the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral.

The East Buttress of Middle Cathedral, grade IV, 5.9, A0, one of the Fifty Classic Climbs in North America. The Mountain Guide

At the base of the route in the morning light, Sloan Larsen and Daniel Kennedy prepping for the route above, 10 pitches of the best moderate terrain in the Valley.

Sloan Larsen on pitch 6, a wonderful 60 meter rope stretcher of everything good, fingers, hands, fists, laybacking, and some good stemming. It doesn't get much better that this.

Sloan nearing the belay ledge at the end of pitch 6, with El Cap meadow and the Merced River far below.

Daniel pacing himself on the long 6th pitch as he cleans the gear. We were quite fortunate to have only one other party on the route that day, a very uncommon event given the well deserved popularity of the route.

Sloan nearing the top, it turned out to be a longer day than normal as the descent gully was choked with snow. We had rappels through waterfalls, a number of rappels off snow bollards, a very alpine finish to a great day in Yosemite Valley.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring Skiing in the Sierra, Carson Peak, 10,909, Pete's Dream

April 30, 2010, Carson Peak. It has been a wonderful winter and a continuing cool spring. The
snow has remained great. Given the big winter and subsequent avalanches Pete's Dream was ski-able
from the summit to the Double Eagle Resort following the fall line. It's the first time I've seen it possible.

On the summit, 7pm, looking east towards the June Mt. Ski Area. It was a beautiful
sunset with good cloud color and great snow.

The "Range of Light" in winter glory. Looking north to Mount Wood

Winter Snow on April 30th? Yes indeed. My skin track up the main bowl on Carson Peak, with the
June Lake Loop in the background. Mono Lake in the distance.

Nearing the top of Carson Peak I got a nice view of the Minarets, Mount Ritter
and Banner Peak. That's allot of snow for this time of year !