Climbing is Hard

Part One: Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

I am not a good climber by any means: I have terrible technique and I'm not very strong. Buuuut I do love climbing. So when an opportunity presented itself to send it with the boys north to Oregon for a weekend of sport climbing, how could I say no?? One short 8 hour car ride later and we were getting yelled at by a camp host for parking in the wrong zone. Sorry dude... 

The following few days proved much more successful; and despite a few bleeding fingers and heartburn we all made it out alive. 

 Got the redsight flashpoint on Screaming Yellow Zonkers (5.10b) 

Got the redsight flashpoint on Screaming Yellow Zonkers (5.10b) 

 The infamous Monkey Face (bananas are a great source of potassium btw)

The infamous Monkey Face (bananas are a great source of potassium btw)

 This place rocks! 

This place rocks! 

 Tilen in his natural habitat.

Tilen in his natural habitat.

After Jon and Erik took off, Tilen and I geared up for our first multi-pitch adventure. I had multipitched before, but never on lead, so it ended up being a learning experience for both of us. After cruising up an easy 5 pitches on First Kiss (5.7), we headed over to the certified Mountain Project classic, Wherever I May Roam (5.9). Despite a few slow parties in front of us and a LOT of waiting, we topped out in time to watch the sun set from a very cool place in the park that many don't get to see. 

 Absolute jabroni. 

Absolute jabroni. 

 Hard to beat views like this. 

Hard to beat views like this. 

Part Two: Yosemite National Park

The following weekend my brother (aka "the Tank") invited me on a trip to Yosemite at around 3 PM on Friday to climb the south side of Half Dome the next day. How could I say no?!? 

 Ethan carrying a very neatly coiled rope.

Ethan carrying a very neatly coiled rope.

Despite waking up at 5:30 and hiking the 6 mile approach fairly quickly, we showed up at the base of Snake Dike (5.7 R) to a group of around 12 people waiting in line. Lame. Throughout the rest of the climb, we were plagued by slow moving parties ahead of us and awkward semi-hanging belays. Oh well. 

 Waited on a ledge halfway up Pitch 1 for over 30 minutes for slow parties above.

Waited on a ledge halfway up Pitch 1 for over 30 minutes for slow parties above.

The waiting was well worth it, however, as we were treated to 8 pitches of scary, run-out, terrifying, and absolutely fun-as-hell climbing. The climb starts out with a few 5.7 friction pitches that are semi-protected. As the climbing difficulty eases, the protection gets sparser. Pitches 4-6 were over 120' long, and featured only one bolt for protection, meaning a mistake (very unlikely) would mean getting "cheese-gratered" down up to 100' feet of sharp granite. In other words, don't fall.  

 Only one bolt on this pitch...luckily the climbing was only 5.4 ish. 

Only one bolt on this pitch...luckily the climbing was only 5.4 ish. 

 Finally unroped! Now only 1000 feet of steep scrambling to the summit...

Finally unroped! Now only 1000 feet of steep scrambling to the summit...

 Made it to the Half Dome summit just in time for sun set. 

Made it to the Half Dome summit just in time for sun set. 

 The crew! Matt, me, Ethan, and Cheryl

The crew! Matt, me, Ethan, and Cheryl

After a quick 8 mile jaunt back to the car in the dark, we made it out safe and sound!