Yosemite in September- from Marcus Webb

Near the end of September of this year Brian Williams and I took a 10 day trip out to this little known choss pile in northern California known as Yosemite Valley. We climbed all of the relatively short and forgettable routes pretty easily and never really needed any rest days..........Just kidding. In actuality, we took a trip to one of the most spectacular places in the world, even for someone who has never climbed a day in their lives. And for those of us who are affected by said vice, it was that much more incredible. It was a pilgrimage of sorts to what many feel to be the Mecca of climbing in the USA if not the world.

Of all the adjectives used to describe the Valley and it's stature, the most encompassing to me is the shortest, BIG. Everything there was just so big. As a Valley virgin, the first real view of El Capitan really puts you in your place; it's kind of like a nice punch to the gut just as a reminder of its grandiosity. Unfortunately we weren't able to attempt a suffer-fest up the big stone on this trip, but we did tick some major highlights. The big two were the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral and the Regular Route on Fairview Dome in Tuolomne. Mixed among those were many great routes including a day at the Cookie Cliff, some bouldering at Camp Four, and a brutal on-sight attempt by Brian and our friend Peter Eiland of the Rostrum. They made it up, but only after what Brian described as feeling like being locked in the Octagon with a UFC fighter for a couple if hours.

To wrap up the trip, we hooked up with a few more buddies from Brevard who were just starting a trip of their own to the Valley and made our second jaunt up to Tuolomne to climb West Crack on Daff Dome. It was a great ending, running a massive crew one after the other on some pristine, glacier-polished granite for a few hours and then all hanging out on top for a while before heading back East. It was a hell of a trip, and hopefully only the first on many.

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