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Note: This is an old post whose content was created for fun, with little to no proof-reading or editing. Please read this post keeping that in mind.

Accidents in the mountains are less common than in the lowlands, and these mountain mansions are decent, delightful, even divine, places to die in, compared with the doleful chambers of civilization. Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. – John Muir

In Tuolumne Meadows, there are no shortage of routes available to the motivated climber. Three of these routes make up what is known as the “Triple Crown”- Tenaya Peak, Cathedral Peak, and Matthes Crest. All three routes get you above 10,000 ft. for a moderate grade, and all are unique in their own way. The strongest and quickest climbers try to link them up in a day, which is an ambitious task. Emmanuel and I wanted to climb all of them, but honestly thought we would have to pick one or two of them. Well, turns out we didn’t.

Our plan was to head into Tuolumne from Lone Pine, sleep outside of the park and then climb Tenaya on Thursday morning. After Tenaya we planned to try to get a permit to backpack into Echo Lakes on Friday. As Cathedral Peak and Matthes Crest are about 2 miles from another (and both close to Echo Lake), many link the two routes in two days by backpacking to Echo Peaks. This lets you avoid having to hike back and forth and also to sneak in some backpacking in the middle of climbing two classics.

So, in three days we climbed the three most prolific “easy” routes in Tuolume meadows, Here, then, is what happened along the way…

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He who binds himself to a Joy,
Doth the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the Joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.
– William Blake

Note: This is an old post whose content was created for fun, with little to no proof-reading or editing. Please read this post keeping that in mind.

What makes someone a “strong” climber? Is someone who on-sights 5.14a (8b+) regularly a stronger climber than someone who can only on-sight 6b+? (5.11a). Certainly in other sports, this is generally how it works; Usain Bolt is the fastest person to ever run the 100 or 200m dash. This year, Germany was the world’s best soccer team. Climbing, however, is a bit more nuanced than running the 100m dash or playing in the World Cup. Hazel Findlay said in Reel Rock 8 that to her a stronger climber is someone who can can climb whatever rock face he/she wants to, in whatever way the features demand. To meet this criteria a strong climber must then be well  versed in all of the techniques and logistics involved in the various forms of rock-climbing one can engage in. I can’t help but agree with her; if I can only clip bolts I cannot really consider myself to be much more than a mediocre sport climber, no matter if I’m climbing 5.9 or 5.13. Rock-climbing is a multi-faceted, complex sport and I want to unearth and delve into as many of its layers of it as possible (except ice-climbing, screw that). Whereas Usain Bolt is always running on astro turf, climbers feel, touch and engage with various types of rock in various places, from overhanging limestone tufas in Spain to the slabbiest of all granite in places like Yosemite. I do not want to limit myself to just a handful of styles because I will then be directly limiting the diversity of experiences at my disposal. This spring, I decided that I wanted to become stronger, but this time I was going to make a new type of training program. For my summer training, I left my stop-watch at home, stopped doing pull ups and dead-hangs and totally indulged in chocolate. This summer’s training would be centered on one thing and one thing only – getting outside to do as much traditional climbing as possible (see the next paragraph for a quick run-down on the difference between trad and sport climbing) All this training asks of me is a good attitude, a good head and a desire to get completely thrown out of my comfort zone. Oh, and, as I would soon find out on my quest to build a trad-climbing rack- a little bit of cash ;).

The simple act of broadening your horizons and trying new types of climbing often allows you to explore magical places that before seemed unaccessible. Me on Matthes Crest in Yosemite Wilderness. Photo by E. Léger

The simple act of broadening your horizons and trying new types of climbing often allows you to explore magical places that before seemed unaccessible. Me on Matthes Crest in Yosemite Wilderness. Photo by E. Léger

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Note: This is an old post whose content was created for fun, with little to no proof-reading or editing. Please read this post keeping that in mind.

With spring came great Yosemite Valley climbing weather, but also my last (and most difficult) quarter at UC Davis. Somehow, I managed to pull off going to the Sierra Nevada four times to do some trad climbing, but with my 21 unit load I never found the time to actually do all of the blogging I wanted to about these trips. With so much time past since these trips, I have decided to make this a “photo blog”, which I figure will be appreciated by my number one blog reader- my mom.  Here then, are the adventures…

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