Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall Road Tripping - Part 1 El Cap

Okay, so I have been a slacker with blogging. September came and I actually had to work a bunch. Well if you call teaching a bunch of keen 20 year olds how to climb in Squamish and the Coast Mountains Work, then so be it. But it was all in the name of 3 months of no work and all play before the winter snows have me pounding out the vertical on the skis.

Part 1 of my journey has taken Jasmin, my wife, and I down to Yosemite, where we are just super psyched to climb as much as possible. After a few days of cragging, we decided that what we really want to do is get up on El Cap again, but this time with no aiders, trying our best to free climb it via the route 'Freerider'.

Freerider is no walk in the park, and it checks in at around 30 pitches, with most being hard 5.10 to hard 5.12. Neither of us are expecting to send it on this trip, but we both want to check it out to see if it is possible to ever do the unimaginable: free climb the most iconic big wall in the world. It has always been a dream of mine, and will likely be a multi trip endeavor but who cares! It will be a lot of fun trying!

But free climbing big walls is HARD work. Day one we climbed the first 10 pitches, and rapped back down to the valley floor via some fixed lines. Yesterday we packed up our haulbags and got prepped to be on the wall for 4 days. Today we jugged back up and hauled our 100+ lbs bags up about 1200' - a third of the way. Tomorrow we get down to business and drag our butts up El Cap trying to free climb as much as possible. Stay tuned...I will keep you posted on how it goes, as well as the rest of the road trip, which will include Smith Rocks, Indian Creek and Spain (I guess that is a flying trip not a road trip!)
The first 100', only 3,300' more to go!

Jasmin soaks up some intense CA rays 1000' feet above El Cap Meadow

Jas heads out on pitch 11 of Freerider

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