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tuolumne meadows

A Weekend of Trad Leads

Tuolumne Meadows Dozier Dome Climbing

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.

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Climbing Matthes Crest

Climbing Matthes Crest

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.

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Climbing North Peak and Mt. Conness

Soloing North Peak and Mt. Conness

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.

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