The summer season is in full effect here in the Sierra, bringing with it long cloudless days, granite ridges which stretch on for miles, and of course, the mosquitoes. Work has been keeping me busy, and with such a playground in my backyard I have scarcely had time to get the pictures off my camera and see what I have been up to! So here are some pictures I took on an early summer ascent of El Capitan's Tangerine Trip route.
My friend Taylor Lamoreaux and I have been looking for a route to climb together for a while now, as he was one of the first partners I linked up with in Camp 4 a few years back. Initially we planned to get on the mega-classic Zodiac, but after dodging extreme ice and water fall at the base, we decided to switch to the still cool and uber-steep Trip. To avoid seepage, slime and munge, we took the Lost in America/Virginia start to gain the 4th belay on the Trip. This move meant we could get a jump on the climb and get past the wet stuff down low, without having to jumar up steep fixed lines.
The rest of the route went smoothly, with several notable sections of "climbing", interspersed with long stretches mindless fixed gear seams or endless bolt ladders into the sky. Taylor and I made it a camping trip, bringing all the extras that could fit into the bag (and some that didn't!). Drinking tasty margaritas the whole way up, we really lived it up El Cap Style!
After three and a half days, we topped out, flopped over, and were met on the slabs by friends Roger and Jesse who had just cruised Lurking Fear in 12 hours or something stupid. Roger, ever-bounding ball of energy, notices we are pretty heavy and takes a rope off our hands, skipping off down towards the East Ledges!
Sweet! After getting our bags back down to terra firma, we made a bee-line to the Yosemite Bug Hostel down the road for some much needed hot tub and sauna action.
After getting down off the Trip, I headed down to San Diego to hang out with my old friend Dave Baker, whose hospitality (and wine cellar) really provided the ultimate recovery program. Fully saturated with salt water, I drove back up to the Valley for another El Cap mission, this time cruising up the Zodiac with my homie Josh Garrison.
Despite a couple issues, like breaking my portaledge, and taking a couple whippers making tiny clean gear stick, we sent, and Josh experienced his first El Cap top-out! The biggest news was getting down and discovering the chaos caused by a bear breaking into my truck. Everything was tossed around like a hurricane had come through, but the actual damage was minimal, and nothing was broken. Put your food in the bear lockers people!
Well that pretty much wraps it up! Since then it has just been work, and hanging out up in Tuolumne trying to avoid the heat. There are still a couple big ticks left on the list for the rest of summer, so stay tuned for more news! Over and out. Ryan.