Tuolumne Meadows Climbing-Yosemite National Park

Bruce and I left Friday the 10th for our climbing trip to Tuolumne
Meadows. I had been looking forward to this trip more than any other
all summer long. Being a relatively new climber, I was also a little
nervous about being able to hang with Bruce and Brad being that they
are much better and experienced climbers than I am. We were to meet
Brad on Sunday in the park which left us Saturday free.
Day 1-Laurel Mt.
Bruce already wrote about the climb on Laurel Mt. so I won’t rehash it
here. I will say, however, that this was a very fun climb. As Bruce
said we soloed it (no ropes or technical gear) but I had to put on my rock shoes for a few of the
tougher sections. The climbing was easy but it was pretty slabby in
sections so it certainly got one’s attention. I once tried to climb a
slab in my regular shoes and lost my footing and slid several feet
down the slab to a ledge. It was at that point I knew for sure this
was going to be an exciting week. This ended up being a lot tougher peak than we thought it was going to be. The swim in Convict Lake afterwards was very refreshing.
Day 2-Low Profile Dome/Lembert Dome
We met Brad in Tuolumne Sunday morning and still had several hours
before we could check into the campground. Needless to say, we went
climbing. We climbed a route on the Low Profile Dome adjacent to
Teneya Lake. This was a very fun route, but I was glad Bruce and Brad
did the leading. Brad led this slabby pitch that didn’t have a bolt
for the first twenty feet or so. I don’t think I breathed until he
clipped the first bolt.
After establishing camp Brad and I climbed a route on Lembert Dome
called Northwest Books.
Day 3-Tenaya Peak
Long before the trip I kept looking in my guide book for climbs that
were in my ability range and I kept coming by this one called Teneya
Peak. I thought to myself that this sounds like a really neat climb.
Little did I know that this was at the top of the list of peaks we
were going to be climbing on the trip. We had about an hour long
approach to where we geared up. I was so excited I had to urinate
twice while putting on my harness. I don’t remember too many
specifics from the next several hours. When I reflect upon it, a
series of pictures come into my mind like a soupy bliss. I was lucky
enough to lead the last pitch to the peak. This was definitely one of
the highlights of highlights of the trip for me. The views on the
peak were, of course, amazing. We had a great time taking pictures of
each other on ledges with all the exposure below.
Day 4-Cathedral Peak
Our objective for the day was Cathedral Peak. I woke up excited for
another adventure but also thinking that there is no way that days
climb could come close to the day before. Well the day would prove me
wrong. I think the climb was five or six pitches long. Again
specifics elude me but I do have a vivid memory of this beautiful girl
who passed us up free soloing the route. I’m pretty sure I actually
had drool running down my face. Bruce and Brad went off to climb the
Eichorn Pinnacle but I offered to stay back and take photos (okay I
chickened out). I’ll refer to Bruce and Brad on this one because I
didn’t do it but I can say it looked scary as hell, I don’t care if it
was 5.4.
Day 5-North Ridge of Mt. Conness
North Ridge of Mt. Conness. This days climb was a longer approach
than the previous days. However, it flew by because of the amazingly
beautiful scenery. I know it is redundant to keep referring to these
climbs as awesome but they were. Furthermore I couldn’t of had better
company than Bruce and Brad. I had so much fun joking around with
them while enjoying each others company while on the amazing climbs.
Day 6-Cloud’s Rest
As Bruce mentioned Brad departed us to go climb Split Mt. We took a
”rest” day and hiked to Cloud’s Rest which is a 14 mile round trip.
The views from Cloud’s Rest looking down Yosemite Valley and across
the peaks of upper Yosemite are breathtaking.
Day 7-Mathis Crest
This day’s adventure was the Mathis Crest. This is one of the most
stunning and intimidating peaks I’ve seen. The ridge is nearly a mile
long and drops off sharply on both sides. We climbed a couple of
pitches to gain the ridge where we put the ropes away and soloed the
ridge. The terrain was mainly third and fourth class with some
serious exposure in some areas. In what seemed like no time we were
at the base of the last pitch leading to the peak. Bruce led what was
in my view the pitch of the week. After a couple of rappels we were
off the ridge and had successfully completed yet another amazing peak.
Day 8-Extra Credit-West Ridge of Mt. Conness
Reading Bruce’s guide book about the West ridge of Mt. Conness the
night before the description said that it was possibly the best climb
in the Sierra. I remember thinking “how could it be as good or better
than what we’ve already done”. The approach was pretty big. We left
the truck at six and didn’t reach the base of the climb until around
11. From the start the climbing was so fun I was literally giggling
like a little girl while climbing. When I gained the ridge and the
start of the actual climbing route I yelled down to Bruce “this is
f+++ing awesome”. It seems pretty dorky writing it here but I was
really overjoyed and I’m not a very excitable person. We reached the
peak around 4 and took a few minutes for pictures and reflection
before making our final descent of the trip.
On the way down looking back on the week, it was difficult take it all
in. We had done so much in a short period of time. This was
definitely the best trip of my life and probably the best week I’ve
ever had. No day in particular stood out from the others because they
were all amazing. I was lucky to have such great company in Bruce and
Brad, both of whom I learned a great deal from during the week.


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