The first time I ever led trad was about a year ago. I got a crash course in placing nuts right before. My friend mumbled some stuff to me, patted me on the back, and headed up the pitch with another friend. I would meet them up there. I nervously adjusted the sling containing the alpine draws and nuts. I thumbed through all the cams and started to climb. My first piece was a nut, right off the deck. My second piece was another nut, perfectly slotted into a constriction right before a lieback. I didn’t trust it. I don’t know why. I was afraid of kicking it out. I froze. And then I lowered off it, too unsure of myself and my abilities to continue. The pitch was a 5.4 on low angle slab.
Month: October 2016
To me, the name “Merrell” has been associated with dad stuff. Kinda ugly, really traditional, super brown—not the good kind of brown from playing in the dirt, and a little bulky. They’ve never been hip or cool. Until recently. If you showed me a shoe from their new line, I couldn’t tell you it was by Merrell. When Merrell offered to send the #UintasHike16 crew shoes, I was a little skeptical. I worship my Salewas. They are my ultimate shoe. I decided to give Merrell a try; if they didn’t make me a convert, at least I could change my tune about the brand as a whole.
Matthes Crest is one of the iconic, classic High Sierra climbs, and it’s been on my todo list for god knows how long. A granite knife ridge cutting straight through the sky, this beast of a rock is tucked away in the backcountry of Tuolumne Meadows away from Highway 120 and any main trails. This was my one sufferfest this summer that didn’t feel too much like suffering. We somehow ended the long day still smiling and laughing.
As a climber, most of my weekends are spent in the mountains where the rock is prime and the views are unbeatable. Local crags like, Castle Rock, Indian Rock, are my playground on days where I can’t make the 3+ hour drive out to the Sierra. Sometimes it’s hard to give up that play time, and sometimes, the stars align and I have that opportunity to give back to the places where I play.