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.
Tag: tuolumne meadows
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.
We came from North Peak
Wow! Lots of exposed climbing
I need to poop bad
That’s the haiku I would have written if Conness had a summit register. After I got back from OR and #UintasHike16 craziness, Josh asked if I wanted to go solo the northwest ridge of North Peak and the north ridge of Mt. Conness in preparation for Matthes Crest. Not one to turn down a climbing adventure, I enthusiastically said yes. I was a little nervous because I’m one, a fraidy cat and two, our Matterhorn trip still loomed high and mighty on my mind.
It’ll be easy, I said. It’s only a few pitches of 5.6, I said. We’ll be in and out with tons of time to frolick and lounge, I said. That’s how I talked my friend, Joe, into spontaneously driving to Tuolumne Meadows with Josh and I to climb Cathedral Peak with us one June weekend.
The last weekend of May was filled with peak bagging fun. Saturday was Red Top Peak in Mammoth. Sunday we headed to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park to tackle another peak: Ragged Peak. At 10,912′, this isn’t the tallest or most technical peak, but it is still my most fun climb to date with some sweet ladies.