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Classic, in every sense Posted on 06.25.2010 by greg.kuchyt

Matt coming up on the pitch 4 belay

Well, we’re happy to say that we climbed the Regular Route on Fairview Dome (5.9) yesterday! We have to admit that the entire day was a bit more difficult than we had hoped but we still managed the climb (12 pitches) in 7.5 hours (the guidebook recommends 6-8 hours). The biggest complication was snow! There is still a lot of snow up in the “high country” and we had to ascend a receding snow field to gain the crack system that starts the first pitch of the route. We found the ratings of the pitches to be much harder on Fairview. The crux 5.9 pitch was very difficult as much of the footwork was on polished rock and it was very dirty from having been wet earlier in the season. Our fear of the crux pitch being wet didn’t come out to be true, but the dirtiness didn’t help make things easier. Above were a couple more pitches of 5.7/5.8 and they were sustained, more difficult than we anticipated, and long (like 150′). The climbing was worth it though! Wow, what an incredible route with pitch after pitch of amazing climbing which all lead to a summit that topped out around 9900′ giving us a great view of surrounding peaks and Tuolumne.

Greg on awkward 5.8 terrain

To us, this climb represented the culmination of our combined 10+ years of climbing requiring a lot of skills and techniques learned previously. We got the genuine alpine feel we were looking for, with perfect granite, snow-capped domes and peaks in the horizon, and no other people around. Based on the topo, this route involved about 1400′ of climbing, which most pitches being 5.7 or harder.
Today, we’re deciding not to climb anything. I finally came down with the bug that Matt was trying to shake the whole trip. I had the initial signs yesterday, but was still able to climb. Today, it’s not so good. We’re ok with it though, we got 2 of the 50 classics done this week and yesterday was a great note to end the trip on. We’re taking it easy in the Valley today and tomorrow we’ll be packing up and heading back to San Francisco to do some tourist-type stuff before we head back to the airport to drop off the car and then hunker down for our early morning flight. I’m sure we’ll have a more detailed trip report once we’re back, but as of right now I know both of us would have done anything for this experience. This was an amazing trip; one that I’m sure we’ll both remember for the rest of our lives.