I always find that I am a bit introspective around birthdays, where I've been, where I am and where I'm going. More on that later.
Originally I wanted to climb Royal arches, but I wanted to include the Spaniols, so for a consolation I settled on Snake Dike, up Half-Dome. I've climbed it before, its super easy, so I thought it would be good for Teresa and the Spaniols to climb
|Snake Dike. Climb to the top of the Yosemite icon, Half-Dome|
On Friday, my students brought be a cake, very thoughtful of them! After munching that down in the afternoon Teresa and I headed over to Wawona for Friday night. We enjoyed some pizza in Oakhurst, and I sorted gear while we waited for the Spaniols to arrive.
|Sorting gear at the campground|
We started up the Mist trail, with high spirits.
|On the Mist Trail|
|Tese in front of Liberty Cap. Photo Credit: Ali Spaniol|
|Liberty cap, Nevada falls, and Half-Dome in the back. Photo credit: Ali Spaniol|
Eventually the climb came into view. As nice as I remember.
|Swampy lake. Half-Dome in the background|
|Spaniols - Friends in adventure|
|Looking up towards Snake Dike. Low angle, moderate fun. Notice the climbers near the centre of the image on the route.|
Unfortunately Ali got freaked out by the exposure and decided to walk back down. Teresa volunteered to hike back down with her. I was a little bummed, I was looking forward to climbing Half-Dome with my wife. Teresa has really come a long way as a climber, she can be pretty bold on lead, and was prepared to swing leads with me, even on the wildly runout pitches of Snake Dike.
I reminded myself, that the summer is young, and there will be many other awesome climbing adventures with her this summer.
Jared and I continued on.
While we waited, many, many, many other groups of climbers showed up.
Jared led the first pitch, and then we had to wait for the party ahead of us to bail. The guy had taken a massive fall factor 2 onto the anchor and injured himself. Once they were clear, I grabbed the lead for the remainder of the climb, and we were off!
The climbing is ridiculously easy, but the runouts are wild. As much as 80 feet between protection pieces.
|Runout. Notice the rope is not clipped to anything. This photo is from when Kyle and I climbed it last summer|
For some reason, the runouts on this climb don't scare me at all. I guess I am confident enough on this low angle terrain to not be scared of falling. Its funny how an 80 foot runout does not scare me, but 10 feet on a well protected, vertical trad climb can make me poop my pants! The human mind is a funny thing.
|Jared having fun on Snake Dike|
We stopped at the last pitch for a snack, and a recharge.
|Jared looking jazzed near the end.|
|Views from the summit. Mt Watkins and Tenaya Canyon. Notice the green slackline!|
|Summit of Half-Dome|
|Crazy slackline on the summit of Half-Dome|
We loitered for a few minutes on the summit. This is one of my favourite things about climbing big objectives. Taking a few moments to savour the moment, enjoying the accomplishment.
|Victory. This is what I live for.|
|Jared savouring the moment (I hope)|
|The cable descent, in all of its glory.|
36 years old, I feel better than I have felt in my entire life. I have my dream job, an amazing wife, every weekend I am climbing mountains. I am in the best shape of my life, and I am ready for a summer of difficult mountains, and bigger harder climbing objectives. I feel like I am living my dream. I feel complete.