Well, I guess you all wanted this...Donnelly and Opland emailed me practically
begging me for my hitlist (ok not really). Well, I planned to work easy weeks
in the Valley until right about now, then race my ass down to Tucson for the
start of school. I didn't know I had 40 hour weeks of HOUSEKEEPING ahead of
me. ***ing HOUSEKEEPING!. (rant deleted)
So the season starts off well, with me arriving to a Valley in twilight, falls
raging and a misty, cold air penetrating my zonie attire. I got into the
Circus (as "Curry Boys" prefer to call the Valley during their work weeks )on
May 19, whereupon I left messages for rec.climbing's "Sorority Girl," Ms.
Amanda Tarr, on the Camp Four (Sunnyside Sneak-In Campground) message board.
After settling into my canvas tent in Curry Employee Housing, I soon met John
"Lord Slime" Byrnes, Amanda "Sorority Girl" Tarr, Brutus "I love my 20 year
old, held-together-by-a-rusting-1/16-inch-cotter-pin, bent, rigid stem
Friends" of Wyde (aka Bruce "Hurt me" Bindner), Eric "Yes they ARE plastic,
and YES, they DO go ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!!!" Coomer, and Inez "Don't worry,
the moves above the belay are EASY!" Drixelius, all rec.climbers and all
around good kids.
I started off my Valley tour by backing off a 5.8---Church Bowl Layback, a
mistake later rectified by Amanda "Tarrzana." I seconded the wet crux moves
and met Slime 'n' Brutus at common anchors after their little jaunt on Pole
Position .10a (which felt like 9+ when I, much better at face than crack, led
it in July). We later moved over to Bishop's Terrace, my first real Valley
lead, and a damn classic. Church Bowl Tree (10?) followed, with a flail
session on Energizer (11). Anyway, Coomah, Inez, and Demanda (and I) went up
to Arrowhead Arete, a 5.8? on ROTTEN ROCK in an AWESOME location to the far
right of the Falls. The HEINOUS approach was capped by a 3rd pitch
uncertainty with rain + route... On the descent, while off route, I started
sliding down pine needles toward a fat, rocky dropoff, and only stopped by
self-arresting ice-axe-style with my hand under my chest... Probably only
worse than that was hiking from Tamarack Flats with Kai, Tarrbaby's boyfriend,
around the ***ing park carrying more beer than water, trying to meet Bruce,
Coomer, and Amanda at the top of Magic Mushroom. Although I guess it was worse
that Amanda + Kai took off with all the unsorted pigs in the back of the
"Briar Patch," Tarrbaby's "White Ranger," back to Colorado.
Oh yeah, we also went to Reed's Pinnacle while I was still rather loopy from a
night of Evil Grape, and barely followed Eric "More sleep, less wine" Coomer's
ascent of Stone Groove, after making a fool of myself monkeying around in
front of some vertical tourons.
Anyway, climbing with those five was fun, and with work starting, I was bummed
when they cruised and I started training for my (***ing) job.
Anyway, the first few weeks with my job were spent in a micro-brew induced
haze caused by work-depression. After I learned to apply the principles of
slack to my job, things picked up, and in the next two months, I got MANY
classics in. Then I quit my job because I felt the VAlley slipping away from
me. And then I fuct up my hand for about the last week of my stay.
A short list (leads and 2nds): (stars mine)
South Face of Washington's Column (my first wall, and an A1+ clipup)(Yes, I
got all the aid except the first part of P4, the Kor Roof) ***
A pre-Tragic Piles-slide Grack Center Route 5.6 ***
Chouinard's Crack/Harry Daley Route 5.8 **
Son of Sam 5.9 **
Apron Jam 5.9 **
Mr Natural 10b? ***
Royal Arches, 5.7 14 Pitches, 5 Hours (With Ramon Mergner, my roomate in the
the tent and fellow rec.climber) ***
Serenity Crack 10d ***
Bishop's Balcony A2- **
Bishop's Terrace ***
More Balls than Brains A3-/A3 Heads, hooks, beaks, one tied-off baby
angle!!!!! (A3+ in the book) **
After Seven (with Kai) **
Little John (Right, I think, we got off route), Sacherer Cracker **
(at the base of Little John, Base of El Cap, I found a glo-worm!!!)
Munginella/ Selaginella (five open books up) 5.8 *** With Kevin Fox,
rec.climber and future roomate, who drove out to see the Valley
Lunatic Fringe 10c? **
Stone Groove 10b, and the face left of it 10c? ***
During a Leaning Tower Backoff where I almost got NAILED BY TWO HUGE ***ING
FLAKES THE SIZE OF NEBRASKA, I recovered three cams (incl. the yellow alien),
two biners now on my funkness, and (with Coomer's help) a pair of sunglasses.
I really don't want to write about this fiasco, which I largely attribute to
my the fact that my head wasn't in the game, and the fact that Hans Florine's
Nose training party kept us at the base until 3 PM, during the hottest day of
July. (read the training diaries on www.terraquest.com... I was the guy who
got missed by a flake by 10 ft... actually more like 60, after I booked away
from my former standing-place, the impact zone)
At the base of El Cap, I got an HB cam, slightly tweaked (aid only), a hat,
and some pre-customized wall gloves.
More booty is coming soon from the Department of the Interior in the Form of a
360 Dollar Check from the HAppy Isles Rock slide incident, for which I was a
searcher and worker. (Hazard pay rocks my world)
Anyway, I had an awesome time, and next year I will be there for more than a
few weeks, eschewing work for climbing.
Damn I gotta pack up my stuff for school.
Robert "I miss the valley" Ternes