Yosemite National Park is best known for its glacier-scoured walls and high alpine peaks. One of my favorite parts about this famous California park are the sequoias. Hike to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias off Highway 120 for a glimpse of these majestic, 3000 year old trees.
Tag: yosemite national park
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.
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.
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.
Hiking and camping at Buena Vista Lake is a beautiful way to see the south side of Yosemite… the name says it all. With beautiful 360 degree views from Buena Vista Peak you get to look at the backside of Half Dome, up to Clouds Rest and all the domes and peaks in-between.