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