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Yosemite is…big! Posted on 06.16.2010 by greg.kuchyt

I have to make a quick update as it’s getting late here and we still don’t have a plan for tomorrow morning.

Yosemite Valley seen from the Tunnel Viewpoint

Yosemite Valley

Well, we’ve been here in the valley for only a few days and wow! Things are big here! We got to Yosemite on Sunday and were super lucky to get a campsite at Camp 4 until the 20th. We need to figure out whether we can get another campsite for another week or not, that’s still up in the air. Our original plan to go to Tuolumne and camp has been struck down due to an incredibly wet spring here in the Sierras. The Tuolumne campsite is still under water! More on this to come. Here’s a quick run down of what we’ve done so far.

Day 1 (6.14.10)

Waiting for crowds is no fun

Waiting an hour for a team ahead of us.

We decided to start on some “easy” climbs to get used to the area a bit. First we started off on a 4-star moderate route called After Six (5.6) and then did a climb called Nutcracker (5.8). Nutcracker is a super historic because it’s one of the climbs Royal Robbins did once he brought back stoppers (aka nuts, chocks) from the UK. He did the entire route using the stoppers to prove that they were viable as a means of protecting a climb. This helped the clean climbing movement (see the previous history post I wrote). All told this was a great day, we did 11 pitches and 1200′ of climbing. Not bad for our first day.

Day 2 (6.15.10)

Pitch #...who knows?

Pitch #12 belay

We decided to do another classic climb, this time a 5-star route called Royal Arches (5.7 A0). This route requires a section of aid climbing where you clip into a fixed rope and pendulum across a blank section of rock to get to a ledge. Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures from this climb. It was a long day, 12 hours from leaving the ground to touching back down. We did 15 pitches and climbed 1600′! We really struggled a bit with food and water on the climb and we hit the ground having been out of water for a couple hours. We proved to ourselves that we could do big long days though and still keep it together.

Day 3 (6.16.10)

Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove

We were really roughed up from yesterday. Tired, sore feet, dehydrated, and in a calorie debt. We decided that it strategically made the most sense to take a rest day. So we did some looking around in the Valley (figured out where to take a shower, watched a short film about the park, and other touristy things). Then we hoped in the car and checked out the Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove, just a bit south of the park. I have a few photos as we weren’t rushing like we were yesterday. We did a 6 mile hike in about 2.5 hours and got to see pretty much all the trails in the Grove.