Friday, October 26, 2012

Making something out of nothing

Alta received a measly 12-15 inches but just as the waitress tells you the plate's hot you still have to touch it to find I went up to investigate. Recent beta suggests main really wasn't ready to go so I skied off Baldy shoulder. Coverage is reasonable given you're going to hit rocks and shrubs. I'd do it again but just barely maybe that's just the lack of skiing talking.

Out of focus pictures below:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yosemite Trip and Climbing El Cap...base routes

With a few scheduled days off and a well placed Chemistry building power outage on Saturday, Chesy and I decided on a short trip to Yosemite or as my Chinese lab mate calls it "Yost_mite". So I jetted home from work on Thursday evening to get our "anodized nik naks" in order and head out.

Don't forget the knife for killin bears

Flash forward 5 hours: As awoke from a dreamless sleep at a random Nevada rest stop (more like dirt pullout with a 40 gallon drum for a trash can) the rain was pouring effortlessly on my car. I wrestled off my sleeping bag and we were off again; a few hours from the park. Soon enough the sun revealed itself along with the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains. Now on any other day this phenomena would leave me excited and breathless, but after 7 hours of driving, poor sleep, and a few too many Red Bulls all I came to realize was that the pass to Yosemite would be closed. Of course as Chesy and Travis luck would have it this was indeed true. Abridged Version: we drove the long way (6 extra hours) around. 

It's ok though, gas was real cheap.

As we arrived into a socked in park 6 hours later than we expected we were greeted with beautiful vista views of dense fog, moisture, and dim headlights that you couldn't really see until it was too late (at least we still had our senses of humor). Things did clear up quite a bit later that night.


Look at that enormously active waterfall! Well pretend.

Blue cloudless skies and mild temperatures greeted us the next day. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Chesy on El Cap (actually a True Statement) but not as cool as it sounds. 

 Quintessential Half Dome pictures

A full day ending it with an easy out up Munginella

View from our tent

Running to add icing to the cake. 

As William Nelson once said "I just can't wait to get on the road again"

Monday, October 8, 2012

No Real Stories Just Pictures

To break up your daily routine here are some pictures. Enjoy!

 Running up Bell's Canyon


 Climbers up Ellworth-McQuarrie

An overly protected Bushwhack Crack 

There's Nak too...she's a goofball

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lone Peak Fail Part Deux

Since last Monday Chesy and I have talked adventure (more like illusions of grandeur). Her record of adventures with me though is something like 1 and 20; that's wins  vs losses (not very good and I'm not reliving them here). So her reluctance to be convinced was simply unavoidable. However, as her attitude would have it she was more than interested in my newest idea. We were convinced that it would be awesome to summit Lone Peak via The Open Book (4 pitches, 5.7) within 9 months of climbing (as in 9 months ago we had never set foot on anything more than 5 feet high).

She was in and so was I and so on Friday night we were putting the pieces together. With the distractions of life (Ph.D., dogs, moving, and work) we figured we would have to do this in one long day. So we started moving at 5 a.m. Saturday morning but...we fell for the oldest trick in the book and were convinced we had plenty of time if we just rested our eyes for a few more seconds. [Eye's resting] Now it's 7 a.m. and we're just eating breakfast. So as the time ticks by we weren't on the trail until around 8:50.

Chesy looking good with Lone in the far background

"No worries" I told Chesy we were making good time to the steep part of the trail and good time to the first meadow. Unfortunately, we started to slow and by the time we reached the granite field a large backpack was taking its toll and I was unable to keep high spirits and Chesy's feet were beginning to hurt.

Fast Forward 2 hours: We had just finished Lunch and were staring up at the summit wall and back down at our watches then back up at the summit wall and so forth (a viscous cycle). It was now 2:30 and we had 3-4 hours of climbing ahead of us. That put us at the summit at 6:30 and not back to the base until 7 and we'd probably be crossing the granite fields by moonlight something neither of us were interested in doing.

We conceded, making poor usage of our time we were left to think what the route would have offered and how much better it would have been if we didn't carry all that gear with us in vein. Now here are some pictures:

 Approximation of the route (Source: Mountain Project)

Kicking it through the first meadow 

Lone in the distance

 Admitting defeat with a smile on her face


In the end it was still an adventure and better yet I got to do it with the love of my life. We may not have made it to the top (insert sappy love cliche here) but you can't beat pictures like this. I really cannot express enough how nice it is to have Chesy as my go to partner for climbing, hiking, skiing and running. Enough sap we'll tag it another day.