Yosemite Climbing

November 8, 2012 - 9:54am

After a great season up in Seward, it was time to drive back south for the winter.  Along the way, I decided to stop in Yosemite Valley and try my hand at big-wall climbing.  After a quick stop in San Francisco to pick up my main climbing partner, Christian, we headed up to the beautiful glacier carved Yosemite Valley.

To start our climbing trip we worked on perfecting our aid climbing technique, which is the style of climbing we would be using to climb The Leaning Tower and El Capitan.  Aid climbing is the use of gear (cams, nuts, hooks, fixed gear) to pull oneself up the wall, instead of free climbing in which one uses only their hands and feet.  Aiding is very gear intensive and since we were spending multiple days on the wall, we needed a haulbag and portaledge.  The photo below shows all our bags hanging off the anchor.


We were able to complete a two day climb of the West Face of the Leaning Tower and then a 4 day ascent of the Salathe Wall of El Capitan.  Lucky for us the weather was perfect and we had most of the ledges all to ourselves.  I even had time to get in a nap!

Overall the trip was all that we wanted. We successfully completed climbing El Cap, made a bunch of new friends, and are stoked to go back again next fall!