Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yosemite Falls, Geek Tower

One of the landmarks of the Yosemite park is the Yosemite Falls. It is the fourth or fifth tallest falls in the world (Angel Falls in Venezuala holds the first place), falling down a total of 740 meters overall if adding its three levels together. It inspires any park visitors to become instant photographers as it is visible from many corners of the park and presents different perspectives during different times of the year or even day. This is my meager take on the subject:

We could not resist either the temptation to go up there with our ropes and try climbing something in the proximity. We first aimed at Freeblast, however after the first pitch of run out 5.10-11 climbing we quickly changed to the Center Route, an easier neighbor. It still presented a 5.10a offwidth that made both of us suffer as suffer you might only on a 50m Yosemite classic offwidth pitch. The exposure and views were definitely worth the effort though:

We made it to the top of the Geek tower, a less apparent mini-summit to the left of the Lost Arrow Spire, and had the pleasure to see double rainbows over the falls throughout the climbing day (i am also climbing in the picture below):

In love with the place, here is another perspective of the falls from the hanging bridge near our camp. Geek tower is in the middle between the falls and the Lost Arrow Spire:

Last couple of days in the valley we spent doing shorter climbs or even parts of longer climbs we did not dare to completely commit to. We thus tried the first 4 pitches of a new route on the far left side of Lower Cathedral - a beautifully-colored, bolted 5.11 face leading to a crux 12a crack, and the first 5 pitches of DNB on Middle Cathedral. Another route led us to a real summit - South by Southwest on the Lower Cathedral Spire. It has one really good 11a thin hands crack pitch worth the approach.

Our last climb has been the famed Astroman, or rather its first 5 pitches. It is an awesome line, rather strenuous Enduro Corner, something worth training for. We have a reason to come back some day to dare finish and get into the Harding Slot!

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