Laura, against my will, hired a climbing guide for me. Which was extremely generous and earned her the title – Best Wife Ever. While I had a very fun climb on the Cathedral Wall, The Kor Lieback 5.9, in the rain, wind and hail, Laura had to deal with 2 toddlers by herself in the cold and rainy Valley. My guide and I left the Gear shop at 10:45 and headed over to El Cap meadow where we started our 15 minute approach. Luckily, our route was somewhat protected and never really got drenched like the Valley floor, I was actually quite surprised how dry we were.
I followed my guide (Nate) up 4 pitches of 5.7 – 5.8 chimmney / crack and 1 pitch of wet 5.9 off width crack to an easy chimney. I have a whole new appreciation for 5.7 trad. I really hope it was the conditions and my poor choice of uncomfortable sport climbing shoes that made it difficult. I was able to use the crack system most of the way with finger, hand and foot jams (which i have yet to fully master) and with some body smearing in the chimney and some wide stemming, but in some places I had to use the face and its slick features for foot smears. At times I felt like I was running up the wall, because my feet just kept slipping off over and over. Even though we got pelted with hail and rain, I only fell thrice and I blame 2 falls on wet face moves. The climbing style was new and spectacular, we climbed 600 feet off the deck in wet conditions in Yosemite – Life is good!
Meanwhile, Super Wife was pulling the kids around on a rented bike and trailer. Apparently, the kids were good and they didn’t kill each other in such cramped quarters. She held down the fort while I had all the fun climbing. We all met up back at the El Cap Meadow where Laura swears she saw Tommy Caldwell.
This was our last day in the Valley and we headed back to the Condo for fun in the hot tub, which is all R wanted to do.
The following picture is one Laura took while biking.
Since it was half day excursion, Nate and I climbed 600 of the 1400 foot face of Cathedral Wall. At the top of pitch 5, we rapped down to Valley floor. Coincidently, for most of our time climbing we heard beeping and honking and tons of traffic below. Turns out the bears we saw earlier in the week made a reappearance in the El Cap Meadow and all the dumb tourists were stopping and blocking the Village access road. Of course the Rangers had to come and first scare off the rude tourists and then scare off the bear and her cubs with sirens.