|The climbs (in text below):|
Northwest Face Direct, Lembert Dome, Tuolumne Meadows
West Crack, Daff Dome, Tuolumne Meadows
Direct Route, Reeds Pinnacle
Stone Groove, Reeds Pinnacle
Lunatic Fringe, Reeds Pinnacle
Jamcrack, Sunnyside Bench
Aid Route, Swan Slab
Central Pillar of Frenzy, Middle Cathedral
Pee-Pee Pillar, Middle Cathedral
East Buttress, El Capitan
Commitment, Five Open Books area
Midterm, Arch Rock
Northeast Buttress, Higher Cathedral Rock
We had reservations for the Valley for late September but we decided to leave City of Rocks a bit earlier than that and head for Tuolumne Meadows in the hope that we could still log in a couple of routes before the first snowstorm. We arrived at Tuolumne on September 15 and were lucky enough to find a vacant site at the campground.
The next day, we climbed the "Northwest Face Direct" on Lembert Dome (5.10c, 4 pitches). The dome is just outside the campground. We reached the base of the climb a bit after noon. It was still in the shade. Eric had left his puffball in the jeep thinking it would be warm enough without it. Bad decision! Once at the start, it became clear that it would be a cold one. A party of two was rapping after just one pitch up because one of them was shivering out of control.
The line on the Northwest face Direct looked pretty good: a continuous crack, diagonaling across the face from bottom to top. First pitch is easy: 3rd class to 5.5 or so near the end. The next pitch is more interesting: a few 5.9 moves on very slippery rock. We were quite surprised with the rock: it looks good for friction; you set your foot on it and it still feels good; then you load it and… Zzzip! Gone. Weird.The third pitch is very good, starting with a low-angle 5.6 crack and getting progressively more difficult until the 5.10 move at the top. Felt like 5.10b to both of us. The next pitch is the business: thin finger locks on steep rock for 20 ft or so right off the ledge. There are good finger locks, first in the crack, then in pin scars. The pro is fine (small nuts). The locks are good, I set my feet for one move of smearing to reach a good hand hold, feels good, then… Zziiiip! Damned! Never expected that! It felt really solid! Try again… zzziiip again! Wow! Then I try again, but this time set my foot in a mediocre toe jam instead of smearing the face: goes like a charm. It actually felt easier than 10c this way. I'd say 10b again. Above the hard move is a bomber hand jam then another move (10a) at a bulge just above. The pitch finishes on a great ledge 20ft below the crest of the dome. A short 5.5 pitch finishes the route.
Good route; fun moves; but wicked slippery rock! Gonna have to get used to that I guess. We took the long way down: up to the top (gorgeous low angle slabs and pine groves) then down the Dog Lake trail as the normal trail around to the left was closed. This dropped us on the road a good 2km south of the parking area… oh well. We then walked along the road and got back to the jeep.
Friday, September 17, 2004: we climbed "West Crack" (5.9, 5 pitches) on Daff Dome. We got to the base before anyone else and waited a bit for the sun to start warming up the face… but two others arrived before that happened. We rushed to the start of the route to claim our spot. The others arrived a minute later. They had already been turned back from the route the day before as they arrived too late. Gotta get up earlier! They also told us I had left the headlights on in the Jeep… oh well. When they decided to give up on waiting for the route, they offered to turn our lights off on their way out. I gave them a key and they hid it in the sand for us to recover. Thanks guys!
Lucie led the whole climb. A great line and good climbing too! The 5.8 crux roof was pretty tough, I thought. Easy descent down the tourist trail. Unfortunately the section of trail behind the dome was closed, so we had to continue east to the road, more than a mile from the parking. It made for a long walk.
The next day was extremely cold. Temperatures dropped well below freezing overnight. Definitely not climbing weather… been cold enough on the first two climbs already. We spend the day cleaning the bus thoroughly from all the fine dust we picked up at City of Rocks.
On Sunday, September 19, we drove from Tuolumne to the Valley. It was super cold at Tuolumne that day and it snowed pretty hard along the drive down. This turned to rain in the valley. We got to our site #37 at Upper Pines. We drove into the loop the wrong way so we could at least be facing somewhat away from our neighbors. The campground is really depressing: very dark, in tall trees, with tightly spaced sites and a fully booked crowd… they all make campfires at night, creating a dense cloud of smoke. We call the place "the rat hole". It really is.
Since the weather was still bad the next morning, we went to Reed's Pinnacle in the afternoon, foolishly hoping to get on the "Direct Route" for a warm-up during a short weather break. We got to the base as a party of 3 was on the second pitch (the leader at the top and two followers on the ledge at the base of the second pitch), and another party of 2 was getting ready to start. We figured we'd wait. So we waited. And waited, and waited. The two followers of the first party were totally over their heads climbing this. It took each of them over 40 minutes to get up. The other party of two Japanese climbers had climbed the first pitch and waited on the ledge. We were still waiting at the base. Of course, by the time the threesome had finished the upper pitch, it started raining again. The Japanese rapped off, and we packed and left. Welcome to Yosemite…
We came back the next day and started with the "Direct Route", 5.9 (but more like 10a, as rated by SuperTopo), a 2-pitch sustained burly affair of wide hand and fist jamming up a striking offset crack. Tiring! We were not used to this kind of all-out physical climbing anymore. Next, we climbed "Stone Groove", a short but spicy 5.10b right-leaning crack. Quite physical again. Good pump. Finally, we got to a beautiful looking 5.10c line, "Lunatic Fringe". It starts with a 5.6 crack/ramp to a ½ pitch of super sustained, steep finger crack climbing. Three 5.10c plus one 5.10b cruxes in a single pitch. Superb climb. I had to hang once near the top to get some juice back into my forearms.
The next day we did a bit of easy cragging around the Valley. We first went to Sunnyside Bench where Lucie led "Jamcrack", 5.9, 2 pitches. A good climb! Clean line. The first pitch (5.8) is a bit polished and slippery. The second pitch (5.9) is really fun, with a short crux at the top. Lucie flew up it no sweat. We then went to Swan Slab and climbed "Aid Route", a good 2-pitch 5.10a-A0 thin crack with pin scars. We met a Belgian climber, Thierry at the base. He was by himself and had little experience with gear so we offered him a ride on the route I belayed him and Lucie up simultaneously. The start of the route has 20 feet of radical friction climbing (11b) to reach the bottom of the crack. I aided on the three bolts to make it. I tried it free before that didn't want to risk a hard move above bolts that close to the ground. Thierry made it up that section pretty easily (damned Euro face climbers!), but had trouble with the thin 5.10a crack on the second pitch. Lucie almost made the bottom free as well but ended up pulling on the bolts. A good climb: typical Yosemite pin scar ride, with slightly tricky gear… After that, we went to explore the approach to the Five Open Books area. We had a bit of trouble locating the climber's trail (it starts behind a now closed-off work area…). We went all the way to the base of the routes to take a look. "Commitment" looks good (we've done it before but Lucie is thinking about leading it now). The other route, "The Surprise" looks crappy.
We were full of good intentions and wanted to climb again the next day but we felt too tired and turned the alarm clock off! Went back to sleep and woke up again at 10 AM. We spent our rest day lounging around camp (a bit more livable during the day with a bit of sun), cleaning the bus a bit and getting the packs ready for the next climb. We also went to the Visitor center to check the forecast: sunny weather expected until at least mid-next week, with a slight cooling on Monday.
On Friday, September 24, we climbed "Central Pillar of Frenzy" (5.9, 5 pitches) on Middle Cathedral. Lucie led all but the 1st pitch. We got to the base just behind a party of 4 French guys, who fortunately offered to let us start first as they were unsure of their skills on cracks and expected to be slow due to the size of their party. Many thanks to them. We enjoyed the climb as much as we did it the first time around, a couple of years ago. Definitely a must-do with a bit of everything (offwidth, perfect finger crack and hand crack, small roof) and great pro. I led a thin crack on the right side of Pee Pee Pillar afterwards (100 ft, 5.10a). A nice pitch.
We had to leave the valley at the end of the afternoon since we were unable to get a campsite for the week-end. We drove to Oakhurst. Beautiful drive but long and curvy. We got to town well after dark. Did not look like much of a town: mostly businesses and malls along a stretch of the highway. We first parked the bus in front of the Vons grocery store, only to be immediately warmed by security that we could not stay there for the night! Welcome to California! After a quick dinner at Taco Bell, we settled for two nights on a little used parking lot next to a Sears appliance store.
On Sunday, September 26, we drove back from Oakhurst to the Valley and settled in our new site (North Pines #313).
We rested at camp the next day and felt an earthquake that morning at 10:15AM! The bus started shaking, gently at first, then quite noticeably for maybe 30 seconds in all. We heard on the radio later that day that it was a magnitude 5.8 quake, centered about 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles. No damage anywhere. We wonder how climbers on the walls coped with it!
The next day, we climbed "Serenity Crack" and "Sons of Yesterday" (10d, 3 pitches, and 10a, 6 pitches). Just about the best route we've ever done anywhere! Every move is classic on this climb. The difficulty level is remarkably uniform: from 5.9 to 5.10d on all but two short connecting pitches between the two routes. We got an early start for this one, both in the hope of being first on the route and hoping to climb most of it in the shade. We did get to the base before anyone else. The first pitch is a bit intimidating: a long stretch of pin scars leads to a bolt at 30 feet, the first reliable protection on the pitch. I placed two aliens on the way to the bolt but neither one was worth much at all. Tough warm-up. I was tense on the entire pitch, even though the climbing is not that hard (sustained 5.9 and 5.10a). Above the bolt, the pro gets much better. My feet were hurting bad from the flared toe jams the whole way up. Lucie followed easily.
The next pitch continues up the crack to a choice of two places to step right into another crack. Most people apparently continue to the very end of the crack before stepping right. Instead, I opted to traverse at a decent foot knob and into the thin, somewhat vegetated right-hand crack. The right choice, I think. The right hand crack has really good finger locks. The higher traverse looks harder and more scary (pure friction). The pitch ends at a small ledge with two bolts, just below a fun looking double flake.
The 3rd pitch (crux) starts up the double flakes (as fun as it looks) to the steep finger crack above. A first short section of finger jams leads to a marginal rest on a tiny foothold (1/3") at the top of a large flat grey patch. At this point, your best bet is to place a couple of good small cams as high as possible in the steep crack above before firing through the short but committing crux. There are no footholds here, except for an occasional thin rand jam in the crack. You smear your feet and jam the good finger locks for a few moves to a tricky exit move on rounded holds. Yeah! It feels like you're going high above your gear on this one, but the pro is solid and the rock clean and featureless: a good place to take a fall if there ever was one. Just above the crux is a fixed anchor with two good bolts and two bad ones. Lucie followed without any trouble. Fun!
From this point, a short easy pitch up a ramp leads to a large comfortable ledge at the base of Sons of Yesterday. There was only one party behind us at this point and there were still on the 1st pitch, so we took a breather on the ledge. Lied down and napped for a few minutes, then had a bagel and a few GUs. Five more amazing-looking pitches to go. The first one is Lucie's. A fairly runout but easy (5.6) ramp up and left to a bolted anchor at the base of a steep crack.
Now my turn again. Mc Namara calls this a very sustained 5.10a lead, which according to him can feel harder than the crux on Serenity. I didn't think so. I actually enjoyed this pitch tremendously. It is sustained and has a succession of tricky sections, but with decent rests so it feels more technical than strenuous. My kind of climbing. Lucie found it challenging. Maybe a hand size issue?
The next two pitches were Lucie's leads again. The first starts with gorgeous 5.7 and 5.8 hand jamming and ends with a short 5.9 section over a bulging block in the crack. The next consists of a long stretch of splitter 5.9 hand jamming in a smooth, steep wall. Lucie ran up that section in great style and with little pro (there's as much pro as one wants but the climbing is secure if you're good at hand jamming).
The final pitch is rated 5.10a and looks amazing as well. My lead again. A short section of 5.9 hands leads to a 45 degree, left-leaning 1.5" crack in a smooth wall. You walk your feet in the crack (which is initially slightly offset), placing pro at your feet. This is really fun, and in our opinion, easier than rated (I'd say 5.9). At the end of that section, the crack veers up again and widens to fists. This is fun and easy as well. The edges of the crack are very sharp, offering great side pulls. This leads to a final bolted anchor 40 feet below a tree. A short 5.8 friction pitch can be done to get to the tree and continue up to the rim but most people rap from this point. We did. SuperTopo describes the rock above as "two pitches of nasty, terrible and dirty climbing"… this would be an unfitting end to a glorious route. Several straightforward rappels from bolted anchors lead back to the base. There are no words to describe this route (or combination of two): simply amazing!
We had to leave the Valley again for the week-end since we did not manage to get any camping reservations. We left our camp in the valley around 11AM and went to the Housekeeping camp to do the laundry. These are the dirtiest laundry facilities we've ever seen. We then went to the store to re-stock on groceries for the weekend and drove to Hogdon Meadows campground. Got there fairly late. The site they first gave us was really bad: not level and hard to get into. We managed to convince the ranger to let us use another site, supposedly not for our size RV, but actually much better!
Saturday, October 2: we went climbing at Arch Rock, right at the exit of the park. We thought the cliff would be in the shade… no such luck! It was in full sun. We hiked to the base anyway to take a look at the intimidating, steep, continuous climbs there. Looks really burly. Got the gear out then waited under a tree for over an hour, hoping that the clouds would spread and offer some shade from the blazing sun. It was too hot to even stand in the sun, much less climb a burly crack! Eventually, the clouds finally spread and we were tired of waiting. We started up "Midterm", a slick 5.10b crack that widens from thin fingers to chimney in one long pitch. As soon as I started up, trouble started too: the rock was incredibly slippery, negating any purchase with the feet. I had to hang a couple of times to place pro in the thin finger section. Above that came a thin hands section, slick as bacon. Higher, the crack finally opens into hands then wide hands then fists, but it is deep inside a narrow dihedral. Not one foot hold anywhere and no friction at all either… full-on jam crack. That section went OK but was incredibly tiring. Eventually, the crack suddenly opens from offwidth (#4 Camalot) to squeeze chimney in a couple of feet. The walls are so incredibly slick that I could not get anything to stick, feet or hands. Besides, there was going to be no pro at all for the rest of the climb, a good 60 feet of slippery 5.10 squeeze. I gave it a couple of tries but never managed to even begin to exit the offwidth into the squeeze… banana peel climbing. I had so thoroughly hated the entire route to that point that I felt angry and desperate. Eventually, I downclimbed (down-aided really) the last few feet to a point just tight enough to get a half decent hex in and bailed off. Scary and unpleasant experience. I wasn't about to try another route after that, so we packed and went back home. We checked out Cookie Cliff along the way: looks good but steep, and in the sun all day. Just too hot to climb there right now...
We went back to the Valley the next day and drove around a bit, scoping out areas. It was really hot… too hot to climb anything, certainly in the sun.
Monday, October 4. We climbed "Super Slide", a five-pitch 5.9 we had noticed from Sons of Yesterday. The upper three pitches follow a very good-looking, straight crack up an exposed slab. We got up early but still ended up arriving at the base just behind another party (from Denmark). We waited a bit then got ready and started up the route. The Danish were fortunately pretty fast. The first pitch is dirty but easy (couple of moves of 5.6). The next pitch is rated 5.7 and climbs a relatively good looking slab with a discontinuous crack. A section around the first third of the pitch has little pro and involves friction climbing on grainy rock. Lucie had planned on letting me lead this, but after the Danish girl got up it on lead, she had to step up to the challenge and did just fine. Some weird climbing near the end of the pitch too. Overall pretty ugly pitches those first two. The second pitch deposits you on a large ledge with trees and the base of the nice crack. Three pitches up this crack lead to a ledge below roofs where the route ends. Lucie also led the upper pitches. The first is about 5.7 and really fun. The next is 5.8 and even better. The last looked a bit dirty (lots of moss in the cracks) and ends with a section of slippery off-finger splitter, rated 5.9. The last section is cruxy but Lucie did great on all 3 pitches. From the top, 4 long raps lead back to the base. The last rap anchor is a pain in the ass as it is in a large tree that sticks out of the wall. We finished early but went back to the bus as we were planning on a long route the next day. We stopped by the visitor center to check on the weather: all clear.
The "Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock" was the next day's adventure. This climb is reputed to be the best grade IV in the valley. We had attempted it a couple of years after we started climbing but had bailed off after two pitches, when we really could not believe how hard the going was! And for good reason: we realized after checking the topos again in preparation for today's climb that we had started up the 5.11 route just to the left. The first two pitches of that alternate strat are 5.9 but the third is 5.11, so it's no surprise we had bailed.
Anyway, this time we were well aware of the two neighboring routes and were confident about the way to go. We got up at 5 AM and finally left the bus a little after 6 AM. We started the approach around 6:50 AM. A group of three had walked past us on the main road as we were getting out of the car so we feared the worst for a while. We walked as fast as possible through the start of the approach, headlamps off so they wouldn't notice us. Apparently they were going somewhere else. We never saw them again. The approach took us 70 minutes exactly, arriving at the base of the route at 8 AM. We quickly got ready, ate a bagel and drank some water, in preparation for the long day ahead. Lucie was going to lead the first 5 pitches or so and then I'd take over for the rest of the climb.
By the time Lucie had just started up the first pitch, another party showed up: a man and a woman, apparently intent of going fast too. I told them I expected we would be relatively fast and unlikely to slow them down much if at all. We broke the first pitch into two to reduce rope drag. A good call, although it gave the two behind us an opportunity to push us from below as they did the pitch in one shot. Lucie was a bit tense but climbing well. She ran the second pitch long, belaying at the optional, two piton anchor. This made the next pitch (our third, Mc Namara's #2) a short run to another large tree. So far so good, although things were already a bit physical, even for mostly 5.6.
The next pitch would be Lucie's leading crux for the day: a long (140'), steep, and sustained 5.9 crack. She went through the first 5.9 crux, a hand jam through a roof, nicely. The rest of the pitch remained quite continuous and felt hard for its 5.7 rating: physical and committing moves. Lucie ran out of gear near the end of the pitch. She got a bit desperate trying to negotiate a tough lieback on sparse pro but eventually pushed through it just fine. She almost wanted to give up leading but continued on with the nice 5.7 pitch above.
This lead ends to the base of the steep walls and an airy traverse left into the impressive dihedral system. I took over the leading at the point. The traverse is mostly easy but ends with an intimidating step down and left to a jutting block. A small ledge with a single bolt (not two as shown in the topo) is a few feet further. Above this point, the climbing suddenly gets much steeper: three pitches of sustained climbing up the steep corner. The first of these pitches is good fun: mostly finger cracks and a few tricky moves leading to the worst belay stance anywhere: a small detached flake offers one uncomfortable foot hold in the tight corner. Belaying from here is bad enough, but things get really interesting once the second climber gets there.
The next pitch is a piece of work! It is by far the hardest 5.9 pitch we've ever been on: 160 feet of continuously hard crack and chimney climbing. I'd swear the crux sections were 5.10b: a really tricky step right around a bulge, and a horrendous squeeze chimney. This took me a while to lead. It leads to another awful belay on a chockstone cramped under a small roof. Lucie had an even better time following this with a pack! A physically draining pitch. And it does not end here…
The next pitch (Mc Namara's #8) starts with a really tricky 5.9 stem right off the belay and ends with a horrendous flared squeeze, incredibly rated only 5.8! At this point, the rest of the dihedral looks unlikely and quickly leads into gigantic roofs. The route escapes to the left via a fun and easy traverse on sharp flakes, to a tree belay.
This is where things got very confusing… Mc Namara's topo shows a 2" crack leading up from the tree… I went up a nice crack but it wasn't 2 inches (full of chalk though), then veered slightly right up another crack. After a long pitch, I ended up on small ledges in a corner with a good belay. I believe this is the spot shown on Mc Namara's topo (#10), but the features above just did not look much like what he shows… I thought. I started the next pitch in the corner, eventually getting to a point where the corner crack opens to a squeeze on really rounded and steep rock. An overhanging hand crack leaves the corner to the left at this point. Getting from the rounded main crack into the hand crack felt incredibly hard (there's nothing harder than 5.9 on Mc Namara's topo). Once in the crack, the going was reasonable (5.9). The crack widens to fists and leads to a ledge with a triangular flake after about 30 feet. I belayed there.
After Lucie came up we debated where to go from here. To our left was another major corner of orange rock with obvious signs of traffic and an apparently sharp crack although we couldn't see its size. Directly above us was a large tree sticking out of a dirty crack with no obvious signs of passage. Another mossy crack weaved between the two but appeared to have decomposing rock. We opted to try and traverse into the corner to the left.
Up the flake, then down the other side, then a tricky step left into the other corner and the crack. And it's another wide one! 40 feet or so of desperate fist and offwidth got me to another ledge just below more featured rock with cracks and flakes leading to the top. I belayed here again as rope drag was getting serious after the up-down-and-up again around the flake. Plenty of traffic signs throughout but little resemblance with the usually extremely detailed SuperTopo… The climbing felt pretty desperate. We were not so sure to be on route.
The last pitch (by now our #14) looked straightforward from the ledge but turned out to have a couple of tricky moves of its own. We both had more than enough of it already. Finally, I found myself at the top, on dusty, rocky, and bushy slopes where I belayed Lucie up one last time.
There was a very clear trail here so I must assume we topped out at the correct point. I still don't understand why the climbing felt so hard and complex, much unlike what the topo seems to imply. After looking at the topo again the next day, I am guessing we were actually on route the entire way, but Mc Namara's topo may be incorrect. Go figure. Fortunately, the descent turned out to be nothing more than a pleasant walk down and left around the spire. Eventually, after 45 minutes, we were able to traverse back to the base of the route, retrieve our second pack and start down for another hour of boulder hopping and steep dusty trails. We made it back to the car around 7:30 PM, tired and a bit shaken.
We left Yosemite on Thursday, October 7 but spent the entire day in the Valley and did the tourist thing. We spent a good hour watching people on El Cap by binocular from the meadows. Mixed feelings about climbing one of those aid routes: on the one hand, they look so compelling, but on the other hand, the crowds are simply maddening. The thing is committing enough already, but with the traffic on the main trade routes, you just cannot set your own pace. You're condemned to following the many teams in front of you… and hope they're fast enough! Maybe some day…
We also drove to "tunnel view", that nice viewpoint along highway 41 we had noticed on our first trip to Oakhurst. We went there to take pictures mid afternoon and then stopped again with the bus on the way out in late afternoon. We also drove to Glacier Point, the much publicized viewpoint above Curry Village. Left the bus at the junction and drove the 16 miles (!) to the viewpoint with the Jeep. We made it there just in time for sunset. Incredible views of Half Dome from here. We stayed until night fall. Glad we finally checked this place out. We then drove to Oakhurst and settled in on the parking lot by Sears, as before.
Tuolumne Meadows & Yosemite Valley
|Tuolumne Meadows, a sea of granite domes.|
|Lucky enough to have found a site at the Tuolumne Meadows campground.|
|Eric on the second pitch of "Direct NW Face" (5.10c, 4 pitches) on Lembert Dome.|
|Enjoying the view on top of Lembert Dome.|
|Daff Dome, Tuolumne Meadows|
|Lucie finishing the first pitch of the classic "West Crack" on Daff Dome (5.9, 5 pitches).|
|On pitch 2 of "West Crack".|
|Higher on the same pitch.|
|On the top of Daff Dome with Fairview Dome in the background.|
|Arriving in the Valley after being snowed on at Tuolumne Meadows.|
|The Valley with Half-Dome in the background. Beautiful cliffs , crowds, hassles...|
|...rules and rangers...|
|and the many...|
|The classic and crowded "Central Pillar of Frenzy" (5.9, 5 pitches).|
|Lucie leading the nice finger crack on pitch 2 (5.9).|
|Turning the small roof on pitch 3 (5.8).|
|Looking down toward a French compatriot climbing the clean finger crack.|
|On pitch 4, another great 5.8 pitch.|
|The Valley, early morning.|
|Lucie turning the roof on "Commitment" (5.9, 3 pitches)|
|Home sweet home at the "North Pines" campground.|
|Eric (caught with the hand in the bag - inside joke for those who know us) on the first pitch (5.10b) of one of the Valley's great link ups - Serenity Crack + Sons of Yesterday.|
|Lucie leading pitch 3 of Sons - a great handcrack (5.9).|
|Another great handcrack - pitch 4 (5.9)|
|Eric leading the last pitch, a great zig-zagging crack (5.10a).|
|It says it all...|
|On "Super Slide" (5.9), on the buttress left of "Serenity Crack".|
|Half Dome at sunset.|
|Another shot of the Valley.|
|Lucie leading pitch 3 of the "NE Buttress" of Higher Cathedral (5.9, 12 pitches).|
|Eric leading the chimney pitch (sandbag 5.9).|
|Higher on the NE but (pitch 7 or 8).|
|Looking toward the Valley from high on Higher Cathedral.|
|Eric on the "East Buttress" of El Cap (5.10b, 13 pitches).|
|At one of the belays on the East But. with Half Dome on the background.|
|The Nose, from high on the east Buttress of El Cap.|
|Nice fall colors.|