Showing posts with label Katie Lambert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Katie Lambert. Show all posts

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Locker vom Hocker: A Foray into Legend

All good stories contain legendary characters and this one is no different.

Once upon time there were two influences in the world of climbing known as Kurt Albert and Wolfgang Gullich, unique to the times they pushed the limits of possibility. Influenced by the style of climbing going on in Saxony, Germany, Albert ushered in a new era of climbing in his home region of the Frankenjura known as Rotpunkt  (point of red). He would paint a red X on a fixed pin so that he could avoid using it for a foot- or handhold. Once he was able to free climb (using only his hands and feet to advance upwards) the entire route, he would put a red dot at the base of the route. This was the origin of the free climbing movement that led to the development of sport climbing in the following decade.
Climbing the classics of the Frankenjura

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Seek and You Shall Find

The sun beats against the white lacquered walls of the Tuolumne Meadows store as the grease sizzling in the grill filters out the door. A breeze rattles the notes, flyers and pictures tacked to the cork board out front; climber partner wanted, gear for sale, looking for a ride, missing persons - it's always the same year after year, week after week yet checking the board, scanning the names, looking for some bit of inspiration scribbled on a scrap has become regular habit. A faded and sun-bleached picture of John Bachar soloing adorns the left side of the board, written in marker below it says, "Bachar Lives."

Clifslideshow 036 Ron Kauk on his technical route, Peace (5.13+). photo by Chris Falkenstein

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yukon Ho!

"You have no rights here!" had just been yelled at me. I gripped the handle of our luggage cart tighter and took a deep breath. I was nervous and very uneasy with the Canadian Customs officer who was holding our customs form and staring me in the eye. The form with all of it's checked boxes, signatures and scribbles in red clearly meant something very bad for us. We had been stopped from going through the security gate and directed into this other room. We had no nuts, fruits, or meats - no drugs, alcohol, bombs or weapons, although there was a Gerber knife in there somewhere and our first aid kit was beefed up with quite a few painkillers - this made me even more nervous. No one was telling us why we were in here.

I scanned the room looking at the others who had been sent to this windowless dungeon looking for clues as to what our fortune might be. Quizzical, concerned looks adorned the faces of the elderly Pakistani couple, the Mexican family the same as well as the other French speaking Canadians. It appeared there was some question of identity with all of these people. In the far back corner was a young guy and four other customs officers; His luggage splayed out on the stainless steel table. He seemed cool and collected despite the fact that these strangers were invading his every personal belonging they could. It didn't look good. 

More questions were spewed our way: had we been to Canada before? Had we ever had trouble at the border before? Had we ever been turned around before? And then it hit me like a crashing wave. Yes! In 2007 while going to Squamish I had been denied entry into Canada. The end result of a circumstance of bad raps and dirty cops the summer of 2006 in Yosemite. An ordeal which included an arrest, a strip search, an orange jump suit, a cold night in jail and multiple days of court resulting in a payoff that ended with no charges. How was I suppose to explain that to a customs officer? It was complicated and the female in control of my entry in 2007 was not pleased with this most unusual circumstance. She printed out 30 pages of material stating I wouldn't be allowed in, I could retry in five years, it would cost me $200 and please sign here. I was devastated. On our way back over to the American side we were informed by a different customs officer that I should retry as what had just gone down wasn't exactly kosher. Determined to continue with our climbing trip we found alternate means of getting across the border that summer and I put the incident behind me. 

But, here it was again! Those 30 pages had been filed and it appeared that they weren't going to let me in again. I pleaded that I must be let in the country, there was a lot riding on this trip - I was part of a team, we were going into the mountains, we were going on an expedition to the Yukon. I stood there thinking of all the possibilities - what if they denied me? would they pay for my return to the States? What would I even do? Go climbing elsewhere? Go back to the Sierra? Rent a car and cross the border in a smaller town? Would I drive all the way to the Yukon? My partner and I were worried. If denied we would have quite a hefty task of divying up all the gear.  Sweat was beading up above my lip.

Sensing the rising tension between us and officer number one a different customs officer interjected. He whisked us away from the angry man with whom I seemed to be having very little success. Two hours after having entered this cement cell of a room we were waiting at our next gate. "Welcome to Canada," the flight attendant said with a cheer. We were relieved to be a let in, I could breath more normally now. We were excited to see what situations we might find ourselves in in the comings weeks of our trip.

Twenty days into our expedition my husband (Ben Ditto) and I stood atop  the 2000 foot tall Mt.Proboscis. We had just made an all free complete ascent of Proboscis via the Original Route Variation (Women at Work - VI 5.12R) A rare and unique experience. It had taken us 17 days and 3 attempts for this to happen. Weather had turned us around prior and we had gotten quite used to the cold, wet climbing as well as the possibility of retreat. As long as we were prepared we would be ok, so in our climbing kit for the day aside from food and water we carried jackets, rain jackets, webbing, pain killers, tape and the gerber knife - because you just never know. 

As we stood on the top of the wall reveling in it's grandeur and the vast expanse of glaciers and peak that stretched on as far as the eye could see we knew that we were only half way. We would have to rappel the entire formation to get back to the ground. Hopefully we could descend the wall with ease as it had taken us 13 hours to climb and it was just about dark now. There would be no room for any serious error. 

The first 13 rappels went surprisingly well aside from small rock fall and some rope trickery to avoid any snags. We were making good time and were feeling a bit at ease as we descended into the first five pitches of the route.  Territory that had come to be quite familiar to us as we had climbed it three times by now.These sections had been running with some of the coldest water on earth and we had jammed hands, arms and legs into these crevices as we ascended the wall. On our way down we tried to avoid the wetness as much as possible, we had had our fair share of it's icy demeanor. There were only three more long rappels to the ground; we were feeling some elation now that the ground was in sight. 

As we huddled together at the anchor pulling our ropes they became snagged. They would not budge. We pulled harder. We flung them around, hoping they would cut loose. Nothing, except a general feeling of devastation. We looked at each other, we looked up above. All around us was darkness; our headlamps only illuminating the immediate space around us - their light disappearing up the wall. We could just make out the blue and green pattern of nylon snaking its way up and around a series of ledgy flakes about 50 feet above and to the right. We had never really had trouble descending here before but now it appeared our ropes were wrapped up in this mess. We were stuck up here in the dark, in the water, our friends asleep at base camp, the rest of the world hundreds of miles away.

We had two options - one of us could re-climb this soaking wet pitch and possibly sort out the stuck bits of rope or we could cut the rope and continue with whatever was left. It was around 1am, we were tired, we were cold and neither one of us could muster the psyche to go back up. We went for option two and out came the Gerber. The sharp metal cut through the rope and we hoped for the best as it sprang upwards and vanished. Down came a pile of cord at our feet consisting of one full 70 meter rope and what turned out to be only about 50 feet worth of tag line. Tying the two together would be useless, we would be better off using the one 70meter rope. 

It wasn't long enough to descend to the remaining three established rappels. Dis-ease came upon us. All we wanted was to get off this wall, to get out of here, to be back in our tents with the promise of going home in our pockets. We had to build intermediate anchors, leaving some gear and webbing behind on the wall. The last 500 feet turned into 5 rappels in 3 hours. At the last rappel, too tired and weary to build and leave yet another intermediate anchor we fixed our 70 meter rope to the existing anchor and used it as a single line all the way to the ground. It's full length stretched thin giving us our final escape to the world below. Around 4am we were finally back on ground. It had taken us six hours to get down. We staggered back to camp with the moon cast shadow of Mt.Probiscis to our backs. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Winter Recap

Spring is here and with it we should be feeling some sort of relief from the heavy snow laden winter but really it has us wondering the winter ever went. The Sierra much like the rest of the Western Hemisphere experienced the warmest and driest winter on record. Being a climber this made for amazing climbing days but being a nature lover it has me concerned for our environment - it's meadows, rivers, lakes and the central valley with it's orchards, farms and the hundreds of thousands merging into millions of people who rely on that food. But, I try and not dwell too long on the harsh reality that stares us all in the face and look more to what good things I can do with the time that I have - primarily what a great climbing season the winter was and what a good one the spring looks like it will be.

We spent a great deal of time in Bishop - where there were almost too many splitter days - so much so that we had to force ourselves to take rest days. Bouldering occupied the first of the winter months. I returned to the Buttermilks and the Tablelands with some very specific (some even leftover from years prior) projects in mind and to my surprise and delight most all came to pass quickly.

Yayoi Left – V8; Morning Dove White – V7; Working Class - V8; Pope's Roof – V7; Wills Arete – V5; Grotesque Old Woman – V7

Acid Wash Right SDS – V9; Strength in Numbness SDS - V9

And while these problem are by no means groundbreaking ascents they did mean a lot to me and kept me pretty inspired to keep trying things and seeking out lines that suit me. Soon enough though this had me with a whole list of new projects – most of which had me feeling like I was beating my head against the wall. It was time for a change before I got too burnt out.

Luckily or unluckily, depending on your take, Tioga Pass was open late into January and I took the opportunity to try my hand at Midnight Lightning – making amazing progress and getting some un winter crack climbing in as well. Ben and I then took another trip to S.Utah for some more Limestone fun. I had about two weeks of time there and didn't fixate on any one thing but mostly developed a program of getting in as many pitches and pump as possible in a day. I climbed some really great routes there – Baleen – 5.12a, Purple Haze – 5.12d, The Infadels – 5.13a. I tried Indulgence and the Cross and I gave a go at Coach at the VRG and found all to be of quality and fun movement - all things to go back for! Sadly my two weeks went by far too quickly but I left for Yosemite to help our non-profit Sacred Rok with some youth trips and do some climbing. I went out crack cragging at the Finger Licken clif and did some routes I had never climbed before as well as some recently put up lines. With Sacred Rok we took the kids out scrambling around on rocks and trails and playing in the snow. Their excitement and wonder of the natural world inspired me in ways that felt refreshing and new. These trips with the youth inspire dreaming and stories and show me what it means to find yourself and your path. I was excited about all the potential I was seeing in the freedom of being outside and everything that a life lived following a dream has to offer.

Once again I returned to Bishop in the later half of the winter and I primarily focused on route climbing. I made a new girl friend climbing partner – something I've been longing for in my climbing for years – and together we descended on the Owen's River Gorge for 12 pitch days and routes that seemed improbable. I was given permission to start climbing on an old discarded project from 12 plus years ago and after a few guy friends made some ascents of it I successfully made the first female ascent of it – Holey Wars 13c. I tried my luck on the steep roof crack Looney Tunes (5.13b) and was excited to be clipping the anchors on my 3rd go. I went for another steep and reachy (manufactured) classic 13a called Aurora. I had it so wired that I incorporated it into my mega pitch training days down there. And just when the season was getting too hot and the rattlesnakes were making their appearances I made an ascent of a line called Fight Club (5.13b). This is a line that seemed so unlikely for someone of my frame but I tried it anyway for the fun of seeing what I could do – and at the last possible moment on the last possible day I had before once again returning to Yosemite I successfully redpointed.

And so here I am back in the land of the giants starting another spring and summer climbing season. And where Sacred Rok will be hosting a series of youth trips into Yosemite for day trips, trail work days, camping trips and hopefully continuing to inspire in the youth that sense of wonder and purpose. I kicked it off the season by climbing Separate Reality and Tales of Power – two classic lines that epitomize Valley free climbing. From this view it looks like it will be a long and dry season and hopefully a season of long routes and adventures. There is one adventure that we have been planning for a while and will take place in June – Ben Ditto and I are getting hitched - this may just be the biggest adventure yet!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Where does it come from? For me it comes in many forms such as the beauty of a place, the serene ambiance of a location, the waterfall that lies to one’s back, the birds chirping in the trees, the aesthetics of the rock and the movements of a route, the history of a climb, the people we climb with and the energy they bring; all of these things bring me inspiration, all of these things drive me to want to climb and appreciate the simplicity of doing it. Seeing new places and learning new routes, these too add to my inspiration. For some months Ben and I had plans to travel to Utah to shoot a wedding for some friends; we planned on making a climbing trip out of it. I had yet the opportunity to check out the limestone of southern Utah and so a new place with new routes was on the horizon – new inspiration. However, forming a routine also really inspires me and this can lead to be reluctant to leave a place (especially Yosemite), especially when the weather is good . But I realize that sometimes getting settled into what is comfortable can leave me lacking. Regardless, when it finally came time for Ben and I to make good on our plan to head east to Utah for the majority of November I did so with a little hesitation.

We had been enjoying quite a wonderful Fall in the Valley. We both made an ascent of the ultra-classic and technically challenging Kurt Smith testament to the ground up standard “Keeper of the Flame” – a beautiful, thin line that goes for about 130 feet clocking in at 5.13. I believe this to be another first female ascent for me. We had also been spending some time climbing on the South Face of Half Dome and inspiration was high. The location, the remoteness (although cell reception is better no place else than back there), the rock quality, the difficulty – it was all giving us so much. Ron and I had also been enjoying some climbs of the day on old, obscure, classics such as Pat and Jack’s “Cat Squirrel” and the Owl’s “Mirage”. But our time was drawing to a close and although snow had been falling conditions were due to only get better. Yosemite is perhaps the place that inspires me the most and with that comes a huge list of routes to do and boulders to scramble and my feelings were mixed about leaving. I had to remind myself that the rocks and the routes would be there when I return, so no need to fret over wanting to do it all in a hurry. Besides, we would be heading to some of the best limestone in the west, it couldn’t be so bad.
Keeper of the Flame - Ron Kauk photo

Ron Kauk photo
Our first day climbing we went to the Virgin River Gorge. As we pulled into the parking off of I-15 my eyes widened with excitement. The wall was steep, featured and draws seemed to hang from almost every route. I was excited to finally see the famed VRG. I had heard plenty about the freeway but I was still shocked at the crag’s proximity to the road. A quick ten minute approach in which one has to cross under the freeway to get to the cliff- walking amongst dirty diapers, discarded condoms, dismissed beer cans and other signs of the seedy underbelly of humanity had me marveling at the juxtaposition. It was like passing through hell to get to heaven. At the base of the wall Ben rattled off a slew of names and grades neither of which I heard very clearly over the buzz of the cars below. It all looked good and I was at a complete loss for what to tackle first. Thankfully I was defeated in our match of Roshambo and I could let him give me a tour. Watching him on the warm-ups I realized very quickly how steep the wall really was. I climbed a few pitches and was feeling pretty good about it all before I was thwarted by a pumpy and powerful 12c. I was surprised, confused and started to find it harder and harder to concentrate. The constant clamor of I-15 was taking over my mind. I was losing psyche and growing more frustrated by the minute. My inspiration was disappearing as I became mesmerized by the freeway. It was like looking at something too hideous to look at but for some reason not being able to turn away. If only I could look away, tune it out, concentrate; I struggled with myself. I belayed Ben on a few more pitches and much to my relief the sun set and we were able to leave this place with it’s bittersweet position.

Thankfully the next day we went to the Cathedral – a beautiful limestone cliff with a 30 minute approach out in the Utah hills. There were no cars, no rumble of the road and no problem hearing your partner. The rock was just as amazing as the VRG. Inspiration was back up! I was psyched. Coming from Yosemite my fitness level was pretty high but my mental preparedness for overhanging routes wasn’t as high. It took some getting used to for me to come out of my comfort zone and to climb spread out. It took some getting used to in general. I had to try hard, I had to take the big whips, I had to let go of the fear of falling and know that the falls were clean – there were no ledges to hit or pieces to pull. I had to get out of my trad mind and get into my go for it mind. It took a lot of work and by the days end I was tired.  After a day’s rest we were back at the Cathedral and after a few days of climbing there I had found my groove. I made an ascent of a 13 called Holbytla that proved to be quite a little battle and a great learning experience. Around the 7th bolt there is about 15 to 20 feet of a boulder problem on steep, sloping pockets.  Nothing felt positive, nothing felt solid. Skipping the crux clip I took fall after fall. The cold was causing my hands to numb out up there and I realized that I wasn’t really pumping off but more just letting go. I needed to just hold on and keep moving, not let go. I wanted the holds to be better but they weren’t. I needed to accept the route for what it was and adjust myself to it. I needed to just go for it to keep moving upwards with no doubt or hesitation. After realizing this I was clipping the anchors and feeling like I had learned a valuable lesson in rock climbing.  Using my new-found spread out, hang on and go for it approach I made an ascent of a really stellar 13b called Resurrection a couple of days later. I think I could have stayed out there indefinitely but once again the temps were dipping and it was time for us to head out.

Conditions wouldn’t be so harsh at the VRG Ben informed me. My heart sank a little but I knew it was inevitable that we would be going back there. I readied myself for the traumatic experience. I told myself that the freeway actually sounded like waves breaking on shore. I hoped this would inspire me. I tried hard, I pulled hard, I crimped hard. I used the power I had found at the Cathedral to fuel me. It worked for a while. But after 6 pitches and considering going back up on the epic Fall of Man I just couldn’t muster an ounce more of psyche. I was over it and lapsed into unmotivation and started to beat myself up about it all over again.
I really wanted to like this place, I wanted to try hard in the face of failure, I wanted to push myself to new levels of inspiration but I was struggling. The road noise, the shade, the cold rock, the overhanging wall with its huge reaches and slimy holds were all overwhelming me. I was losing my power. Once again the sun set and we could leave. I walked back to the car, crossing under the bridge to hell with my head hung low. I felt like I had failed in some way. I felt like I had let myself down by not pulling through and maintaining a positive outlook. Back in the hotel I turned on the TV and tried to push aside all thoughts of climbing. The channels were filled with things like Real Housewives of Atlanta, Lady Hoggers, Millionaire Matchmaker and terrible news programs. I searched the channels for inspiration and I wondered what the hell was wrong with us people? What is it that we are doing with ourselves, to ourselves and to the world? I came to the understanding that I should be inspired by the simple fact that I have the opportunity to go rock climbing, that I have the choice to be free in myself and enjoy the act of moving over stone.

Back at the VRG the wind whipped against the rock, the cars rumbled below. My body felt stiff and my mind tired. In the warmth of the hotel room finding inspiration seemed easy, out here I was going to have to dig deep, to think about being thankful for the day, thankful for climbing. I would let the rock inspire me. I tried hard. The warm ups felt hard, I felt less than good. It would be a practice day – I would use it as an opportunity to do moves, hold onto holds and enjoy the process of doing that. I tried Fall of Man a couple of times with no expectations, just practice. I did better than I thought I might do. I made it to  a new high point past the crux before faltering and just missing a crimp with the left. I fell and I lowered. Looking back on that I know that I stood in the way of myself. I had stopped myself from doing the move, from grabbing that hold. I realize that still in me after all the red-points and onsights that I still carry a fair amount of doubt.  After the lesson I thought I had learned at the Cathedral I still hesitated. While reaching up for that hold I didn’t believe enough that I could do it, that it was ok to grab it.

We left the VRG in the cold of the late evening and headed back to Bishop. I was bummed to leave with unfinished business. After all the dis-ease and dislike I had I found myself almost begging Ben to let us stay just one more day in the hopes of getting to climb Fall of Man one more time, but the temps were too frigid to climb anymore and it was clear that we should head home. On the drive back I thought about Jerry Moffat, I had just finished reading his autobiography and the take home message I got is that if you want something then you go for it 100%, with no doubt, no hesitation, with only positivity and inspiration. Back here in the warmth of our house in Bishop I’m using my new inspiration. We will return to the VRG in the next months I’m sure and I will let myself do Fall of Man then but in the mean time I’m climbing with more purpose than ever – I’m going to go for it 100% with no hesitation and no doubt, with positivity and inspiration.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sublime Sending Summer

It’s the Fall Equinox and by all rights the summer should be over, but temps reaching higher than 100 degrees are telling me otherwise. The heat has me uninspired to climb although my body is craving the physical exertion; so, to make myself feel more at ease I will revel in my summer’s sends. After our July efforts on Leaning Tower we headed to higher ground. We headed to Tuolumne – where the water was ice cold and the rock climbs kept our tips numb. The season up there is limited and so I try to have some specific goals so I don’t find myself too idle. A few years back when I was climbing on “Peace” I was intrigued by a route to the right named “Golden Rose.” I had tried it once that summer and found it to be quite hard, quite thin and quite reachy. But, when this summer season started up there I found myself wanting to give it a good going over. I was lucky in that a few friends were interested in doing Peace and so I would have partners to hike up to Medlicott with and give a belay. My first time up the route this season confirmed my thoughts about it from the past – it was extremely thin, it had long move after long move and felt incredibly sustained but it also felt very doable. I wanted more of it. After a few days effort on the route I was psyched to make the first female ascent of this classic Ron Kauk line.

Golden Rose 5.13c

My fire was stoked and went after another project of mine that has lasted me three summers – The Steel Fingers Traverse. It’s rated V8 but I want to give it a personal grade of V10 – but I don’t guess that would be right so I’ll humbly stick to what the Tuolumne Rock Gods have given it. It’s a 40 foot traverse that goes through a series of slopers, crimps, heel hooks, horizontals, underpalms and cracks. The typical beta at the start of the crux is to get a left heel, toe and lock off to a sloper crimp above the roof. This works great for those that are 5’8″ and taller but for us shorties it a whole different game. The reason this traverse has taken me so long is because of this move – I needed to find a different way and I did. It involves an undercling pinch, super high feet and a pop out the roof. Ok, hard move but I could do this move almost every time, the issue then became being able to do the move while holding the pump from the 15 or so feet into it and then holding on for all that came after it. I worked it, worked it, worked it. I had it down in a few sections, then I had it down to two sections – all the moves into the pop then all the moves from the pop to the end. But, damn it! I kept putting my foot down when I would go for the move – I realized that I was having a mental game with myself. I was thinking that I couldn’t do it, that it was too hard for me to do it all and I was holding myself back, I wasn’t letting myself succeed. I needed to break through, to change the thought pattern. So, I started doing it from just a few moves before sometimes I would succeed, mostly I wouldn’t. Then I would just start doing that move to the end over and over again, with a fierce pump. This showed me I could hold on, I had the power to do so. On the day that I red-pointed Golden Rose I tried to send Steel Fingers. I thought that the psyche from the mornings accomplishment would have me stoked. I didn’t do it, but I came really close. A couple days later after a good rest and some pep talks from both Ben and Ron I knew it was time. I warmed up and then arranged the pads as needed. I fired it first go that day! I had surprised myself when I stuck “the move.” I had to real my thoughts back in and keep it together for the rest of the traverse, for there are a few more cruxes before the end. As I reached the last hold and then stepped down off the problem I had not only just made another first female ascent but I had personally come through a transformation.

Steel Fingers Traverse

This had all happened just in time for the next week Ben Ditto, Jon Gleason, Eric Ruderman and I headed to the Needles for a ten day stint of secluded, low commitment multipitching. In our time there we got in a little over 36 miles of hiking and about 36 pitches of climbing. It’s a magical place there at the southern end of the Sierra. The granite is splitter and grippy and the pro can be plentiful and solid to sparse and sketchy. From the late 60′s to the early 90′s is when most of the climbing was put up at the Needles. In 1969 Fred Becky made the first ascent there and in the years to follow it would be only a handful of hard men and women putting up FA’s. When I first caught wind of the Needles it was the 90′s. The electric green lichen of the place suited the style of the era and the glossy pages of the climbing mags were adorned with lycra, runouts on thin flakes and mystical sounding names of formations like The Warlock and The Sorcerer. Master’s of Stone had Ron Kauk and DanO moving through the landscape as if a playground. In our ten days there we saw that playground shut down more parties of climbers than not on the humbling experiences of cracks that tapper out to descents up talus filled gullies to the 3 mile hike out. We saw more people leave early, almost fleeing with fear than on the summits of those five fingers of rock.

Many of the climbs seem to have been left in the past. The upfront classics dominate the scene and only the Peregrines can be found on such climbs as the Nautilus. Aside from the bugs, birds and chipmunks our wildlife encounters – much like the gear – was sparse despite being at 7000 feet and in the thick forest of the Sierra. There were no deer, no bear and no cougar and I could only deduce that since the Central Valley with it’s millions of people and agricultural pollution rest only 50 miles away that the animals have moved to less polluted more safe environs.

We ticked off some classics like the Don Juan Wall, Atlantis, and Fancy Free to name a few. Gave a go at things like Pyromania and Titanic and on our last day there Ben and I made an ascent of Romantic Warrior. Through the years I had heard stories of this climb – how bad the pro was, how hard and awkward the cruxes were, how beautiful the line was, how good the climbing was, how shut down people had been on it and on and on. But, somehow this climb was not so bad for us. Perhaps it’s that we came from Yosemite where the runouts can be long, the pro can be funky, and the rock just as chossy as it is solid. And perhaps it’s that in our quiver we have enough experience to go up something like this and come out on top. Whatever the reason for the send on this amazing and elegant line I am thankful, for it was a highlight of the trip and a highlight in my climbing career.

5.12a traverse on Romantic Warrior(5.12b)

As I wrap up this tale of a sublime, sending summer thunder clouds gather above Yosemite Valley. The threat of rain brings with it some cooler temps and hopefully the promise of Fall – for there is still much to climb and explore!

all photos credit to ben ditto