After driving 2,500 miles in ~41 hours with quick stops through Lexington KY, Boulder and Carbondale CO to catch up with friends, I finally made it to Yosemite. Over the last month I’ve been able to achieve all of my goals. I was first able to free climb the full 1200ft line of Astroman 11c with Mike Rues who works at Yosemite National Park. Mike was VERY amped. Yelling and screaming with excitement at 6:30am as we hiked up to the climb. His energy continued all day as he was yelling "I'm LOVING THIS" as he wiggled his way up the 40 foot off-width of the Harding slot. Good times. We had to re-climb a few pitches by pulling the rope in order to do them free. Ultimately we climbed all 12 pitches without falling. 10 pitches of 5.10+. Good day.
Mike leading the Endurance Corner
My brother John made the trip from San Fran up to Tuolumne Meadows (above Yosemite Valley) to hangout with me for the weekend. We had a blast summiting the areas highest peak and many of the imposing granite domes.
John midway up Cathedral Peak
The main objective for my trip was to climb the 3,000ft tall El Capitan. I wanted to climb it as “free” as possible, which meant using ropes and only my hands & feet to ascend it versus pulling on gear. I was lucky enough to meet Jack Ziegler who was also motivated for this objective. He goes into great detail about our trip on his blog, which you can read here. We free climbed about 2/3 of the Salathe route, which took us 3 days and 2 nights on the wall. It's been my dream to climb this wall since I was young so it's exciting to see it become a reality.
Me belaying Jack on the Salathe headwall
I also put together a video which you can find here
After achieving my main objective, I honestly was ready to relax a bit. Fortunately, John Roark asked me to attempt to climb the Nose of El Capitan in a day. I laughed at idea at first. Neither of us had even attempted it before. Nonetheless, John's optimism persevered and we started at 4am on Thursday 6/28 and finished at ~2am Friday morning. It took us 21:48 hrs from ground to top and 24 hours car to car and was a great day of climbing on a classic route.
I'm wearing the yellow shirt and about to do the KING SWING
After the SWING
I was destroyed after climbing El Capitan twice in a week and was therefore excited to leave Yosemite for San Francisco to spend time with my brother John, Terry and my niece Sophy. We had a grill marathon grilling chicken, pork, stuffed jalapenos and sausage rapped eggs coined pterodactyl eggs.
My short apartment hunting trip back to Winston-Salem over July 4 was successful and I'm now all set to enjoy my last 3 weeks with 1 more week in Yosemite and stops in CO as I make my return trip east to start work 8/6. Let the road trip continue!