Archive for July, 2011

Yosemite – Half Dome Hike

So I had one more day left at Yosemite. I decided that I wanted to do the Half Dome hike, a 15 mile round trip hike with massive elevation changes. The guide recommended 10-12 hours for the trip, which is quite alot. You also need to get a permit before doing it, and they DO check for it right before the last part of the hike.

I got a late start and got to the trail head probably around 9am. I went through hell trying to find a camping spot the night before and was a bit tired from that.

Anyways, enough chatter…the hike was fantastic, and there was insane scenic variation throughout the entire thing. You see waterfalls, barren areas, vast forests, nothing but granite rock, etc.

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view of Yosemite Falls- I didn’t do that hike, not enough time.

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My destination :

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Okay…so at the top of the hike is half dome, the huge granite slab. To get there, you have to go up these cables and walk up/down it. These cables are obviously very steep, and the process is very slow.

It’s beyond me why anybody who is afraid of heights would go up these things. There were some morons who would be petrified on the way down, moving at a snails pace and freaking out. Idiots…

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top of half dome:

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The way down:

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Notice the dude on the left, going outside of the cable- that’s what I eventually did. The line was at a full stop because some idiot chick got too scared and just sat her ass down and wouldn’t move. She decided that she wasn’t going to go on and clipped into the pole. I guess she had been sitting there for like 45 minutes by the time I reached her. I couldn’t take waiting, so I just grabbed the outside and ran down the cables. I was accompanied by a few other climbers as well.

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All in all, a fantastic hike. Took me about 8 hours or so total. I probably could have done it in like 6.5 or 7 if I didn’t dick around at the top of half dome. I thought that the return journey would be super difficult but it ended up being okay. The climb upwards was pretty tough I’ll admit, with the big elevation changes and steepness.

I drove the next morning to my aunt’s in the Bay area. I’m still here and will be leaving tomorrow to Eureka, CA.

Also, I hope everyone has enjoyed these pictures- they are the last you’ll see of that camera. I got robbed yesterday (car was broken into) in Oakland and I had my netbook/camera stolen. It sucks but whatever…more of an inconvenience than anything. Anyways, tomorrow maybe I will be able to do an easy hike…trip is coming to an end now and I have to be in Seattle on the 28th of this month. It’s been a fantastic trip and I’m so grateful for all of the help I’ve received along the way .

Also, if anyone is going to MLG Anaheim, let me know. (Starcraft 2 nerds). I’ll be there with my brother.

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Yosemite- Climbing TR

I met my friend in the north east area of Yosemite, in an area called ‘lee vining’. He has been climbing for almost 20 years now and had all of his gear with him. I’m (obviously) not nearly as experienced and was able to just follow/clean for him. I essentially had to drive through the entire park (which was hell, given how narrow the roads are) to meet him. It was a scenic drive all the way through though.

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So yeah, I met up with my friend and we ghetto camped that night.

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We drove a bit closer into the park the next morning and did Cathedral Peak, a 6 pitch 5.6 classic. Some pictures:

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One of the anchors for one of the pitches:

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So for those who don’t climb- we put in pieces (also called protection or cams and a billion other names) when doing trad(itional) climbing. Stupid example (this was not going to fit, just wanted to show you a piece up close)-

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The top:

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The next day we climbed inside the valley. We did Bishops Terrace (I think it was a classic 5.9) along with several others. I’m awful at crack climbing but still had a fantastic time. I don’t have many pictures from that day, but…

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The last day we went to an off-the-beaten-path climbing area called ‘Shuteye Ridge’. It was super hell to get to (the ground was super shitty, pretty much just driving through huge roots/forest the entire time…not the brightest idea when you don’t have a spare). That said, it was really great- super isolated, beautiful scenery, cool rock, easy walk off at the top. The only problem is that we didn’t really have a guidebook for it. We saw some bolts leading up a crack and met two other climbers who had a guide book. We deduced that it was a 5.8 3 pitches.

This was probably my favorite climb of the weekend. It was all stemming (where you shift your weight back and forth using footing and balance…think climbing up a chimney, back and forth) and layback moves (where you can hold both hands in a hold and lay back on it, working your feet and hands up). reminded me alot of gym climbing in a way and it was incredibly fun.

Some pictures of the area (none of the climb, unfortunately)-

Cool bouldering area before the actual climbing spot-

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The view from the area-

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very cool. I’d like to go again.

So that was my first 3 days of the trip. Unfortunately, my friend had the beginnings of strep throat and had to check out early. I decided that I wanted to do the Half Dome hike, a 15 mile round trip hike that had a very large amount of elevation change (I can’t recall what the total was, something like 5-6,000 feet if I recall). I’ll post that TR next.

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Kings Canyon and Sequoia part 2

After doing the touristy stuff and seeing the Generals Tree and other things, I decided to move south, to an area called “Mineral King’. It’s much more isolated and was a brutal drive (at least by inner-park standards): 1 hour for 25 miles, winding on shitty road throughout. Annoying.

Anyways, the camp itself was quite beautiful. The entire area almost seemed like an entirely different park all together- everything was lush and green as opposed to super dry and barren.

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I met two chicks the previous night before at the past camp site and I hiked with them at Mineral King.

We decided to do this lake trail (I can’t remember the name, awful)…here was the trail head-

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It wasn’t an overly difficult hike- probably about 9 miles round trip. The weather was fantastic; and even though there was snow, it was still great.

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We finally reached the top-

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The pathing was a bit shitty at times, but we managed.

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So yeah. I actually got altitude sickness later that night and threw up all of my food. I felt pretty weak and attributed it to not drinking enough water throughout the day. I think I gained something like 5500 feet in an hour and didn’t adjust accordingly.

Anyways, went to Kings Canyon afterwards. I got a flat on my way there (I got a flat back in Zion, same tire) and had to fix that all of the first day. Sucks alot but whatever, it’s to be expected on a trip this long.

I didn’t really do many tough hikes in KC. I only had a day or so and limited gas. I was going to meet my friend in Yosemite that Wednesday and was quite excited for that, perhaps one of the reasons why I wasn’t as impressed with KC.

That said, did a nice 12 mile or so hike around the area.

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And yeah…not many pictures from KC, whatever.

Yosemite is next. I did some climbing and a very long 15 mile hike there…fantastic.

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon part 1

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while; my internet has been awful. LA was LA, don’t really have much to say about it. Ate some good food, went to the beach, climbed in the gym a few times, fun stuff.

Anyways, decided to go north to Sequoia. Sequoia and Kings Canyon are joined together by a long road called Kings Highway. I decided to do a few different hikes. First day I did the touristy area and saw many of the massive Sequoias in the area.

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Perspective shot:

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cool burnt tree-

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Entered a cool cave- Crystal Cave. Super awesome and well worth the tour:

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A formation called “Jabba the Hut”-

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Yeah, really cool stuff. The guide actually took me on an unofficial short caving experience after the tour, which was really cool. I presented alot of interest in caving and he wanted to show me some basic stuff. I think it’s something I’ll definitely pursue in the future in terms of my next big hobby/etc (when I get the chance).

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Alive

I’m still alive. I’m currently in Kings Canyon National Park and am going to do Yosemite after. I blew out my tire yesterday which blew ass…other than that, nothing truly eventful. Been doing a ton of hiking and camping (trip reports to come). Don’t recall the last time I’ve showered either.

So yep…will be in San Fran in like a weekish. Will post all of my TRs then.

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