Eastern Sierra Escapades
Trip Start Mar 21, 2012
24Trip End Mar 25, 2013
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Sara stoked to be getting away from work and going into the Hulk!
Walking into Slide Canyon, home of the Incredible Hulk!
Meet Greg Horvath!
The Hulk! There are amazing routes all over this massive piece of rock!
On our first day, Sara, Ben and Lindsey climbed the Red Dihedral (5.10b), while Greg and Doug climbed Blowhard, one of the tougher, more technical routes on the northern section of the Hulk. The next day, Greg and Ben climbed the ultra classic Positive Vibrations while Sara and Lindsey took some time away from the rock to explore the area natural splendor.
Sara climbing on the lower pitches of Red Dihedral
Lindsey enjoying one of the rare moments when the sun came out that day!
Sara doing yoga on the summit
Lindsey and Ben downclimbing on the descent
Greg giving a fist pump way up high on pitch 5 of Positive Vibrations. Our new rope shines on the rock!!
Ben and Greg goofing around at one of the many belays
Ben pulling the crux moves of the climb.
A quick return to civilization (read: burgers and beers) and we were off on our own respective adventures with friends Tim (currently living in San Francisco) and Lynne (who flew down from Seattle to join Lindsey) for a week.
Lindsey and Lynne were making friends all over Tuolumne as a rare, all girl, climbing team. Even through it's more popular in Tuolumne than many places, we only saw one other all-girl team during our week's time there!
Of course, we HAD to hit Cathedral Peak, a Tuolumne classic...
But being a classic, the face was zoo full of climbers of all abilities, criss-crossing each other and queuing up for the famous chimney pitch.
We decided to take a variation about 100ft to the right to avoid the traffic jam, but still ran into a family of four on our way up and had to build extra belays so as not to interfere with their climb. The climbing was still tons of fun!
AND, being a classic climb in the easier grades meant many free solo climbers (without a rope). Here's a couple guys (the one below is on his first ever free solo!).
These two were having a blast on the route, but we ran into another free soloer at the summit who concluded he shouldn't be free soloing...and that's why we never bother in the first place and always take a rope!!!
Needless, the summit was beautiful and we snapped a couple shots of other climbers perched atop the classic Eichorn's Pinneacle, a great extention to do after topping out on Cathedral Peak.
Summit of Cathedral and other climbers on Eichorn's Pinneacle
Lynne and Lindsey enjoyed other great days of climbing easy classics, such as Holdless Horror, and taking afternoon dips in Tenaya Lake.
Lynne working on her leads on DAFF Dome!
Budd lake after climbing Cathedral Peak
Panorama on top of Fairview Dome, Cathedral Peak in the background
Meanwhile, Ben and Tim took off for the Third Pillar of Dana and then onwards to the Mt Whitney area where they climbed the East Face and Buttress routes on Mt Whitney and the Fishhook Arete on Mt Russell. The rock quality on these alpine peaks is simply magnificent!
Third Pillar of Dana
Splitter crack climbing on the upper pillar
Tim on the East Buttress of Mt Whitney
Mt Whitney mountainscape - L -> R: Day Needle, Keeler Needle, Mt Whitney
Tim playing air guitar near the summit of Mt Whitney - Mt Russell can be seen in the background left with all its impressive buttresses
Looking down from half way up Fishhook Arete on Mt Russell
Ben roped up and ready to lead off on the East Face of Mt Whitney
We left the Whitney area for a quick rest and burritos and then headed up to Temple Crag where we climbed Sun Ribbon Arete in a relatively comfortable day.
Temple Crag in morning light
Tim starting up the first pitch
Making progress up the arete
There are several towers on the arete which in some cases can be simple climbed over, but at one point, a tyrolean traverse is required!
Fun moves on some of the better rock on this route (overall the climb was chossier than we expected)
The four all joined a week later to share their stories and sport climb in Clark Canyon. Tim and Ben – who had spent the majority of the week talking to each other in their ridiculous British accents – put on a thespian performance the last evening for the ladies. Bravo!
Lindsey and Lynne at Clark Canyon
When the week came to an end, we were sad to see our buddies go, but happy to return to married life in the van and celebrate our 2-yr anniversary on the road!
Ben's custom-made skis, courtesy of Kam Leang. What an anniversary surprise! Can you guess who's face is on his skis?
More pics of this leg of the aventure can be found here:
Tuolumne with Lindsey and Lynne
Third PIllar of Dana with Ben and Tim
Mt. Whitney and Russell with Ben and Tim