Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows July 4th

This is my new blog where I'll post trip reports and various other happenings.  Feel free to check it out, but don't spend too long here; there may not be enough bandwidth on the internet for all the traffic I am likely to get.

Over the weekend of the 4th I took a quick climbing trip to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park with my friend Chris who runs Outdoor Outreach, and Juan who has become an instructor with O.O.

Here is our goal: The Regular Route on Fairview Dome.
We drove up Friday afternoon, took in the scenery for a while and found a camping spot.  Saturday we got up early to beat the crowds to the base of Fairview Dome to do the popular Regular Route.

The route begins in the crack that appears to be coming out the back of Chris' neck, goes up to the tree that looks like a little black spot to the left of the crack, and continues for about nine pitches of climbing on perfect Tuolumne granite to the the summit.

Climbing in a party of three makes for a more social outing as about half the time you're sharing a belay ledge with a partner.  And speaking of that, the belays on this route were all great!  Most were nice coffee table-sized ledges where you could sit down and relax and only one hanging belay on the whole route.

Here are Chris and me on Fairview Dome after finishing, with Cathedral Peak to the Left and (I think) Matthes Crest on the right.

We summitted early afternoon and got back to the car in time to drive in to Yosemite Valley for the evening. Juan had never seen it and was as amazed as anyone else to see it for the first time.

The next day we climbed a shorter route on Lembert Dome.
Climbing in a party of three also gives more opportunities for taking pictures because if one guy is climbing and one guy is belaying then the third guy is free to take pics or whatever.  I tried to get some good pictures of Chris leading this moderately difficult crack.

This ended up being a great trip, although too short.  The weather up in Tuolumne was perfect during the days in the high 70s, maybe a little chilly at night dropping into the mid 30s, but overall really nice.  The climbing there is fantastic with tons of great routes and mostly short approach hikes.  I'll be headed back again soon!

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