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Yosemite and Tuolumne Sept-Oct 2011

SP led the first pitch/es up a pillar

Smoke from a controlled (?) burn drifted up the valley during the day

We jugged up the ropes in the evening with most of the gear

Half Dome has an unusual shape from Watkins

Our 70 and 60 m ropes got us to the top of the 3rd pitch.

We tied the two ropes together and made it back to the base of the wall with a few metres to spare

Half Dome in late afternoon sun

The Quarter Domes just across the valley

Studying the topo back at the bivy site

Jumaring back up the ropes in the morning

SP leading pitch 5

The last couple of pitches up to the bivy site at Sheraton Watkins at the top of the 8th (our 7th) were easy but run-out

Sheraton Watkins, a large ledge system, but not too many flat areas

After a break we planned to fix the next pitch. SP led half of it, but couldn't find the bolt ladder marked on the topo.

He put in an anchor at his high point and I top-roped up to it and also tried to find my way up to the bolts. It looked like some fixed pegs had been removed...

SP ponders our lack of success on Watkins - this was his 4th attempt and my 3rd

We bivied for the night knowing that we would abseil off in the morning

Sunset and contrails over Half Dome

Rigging the anchor to abseil off and lower the haul bag

Descending, with the unattainable headwall way above ut

I abseiled on one rope and guided the haulbag which SP lowered on the other

Once I had moored the bag to the anchor SP followed on the double ropes

We skipped an anchor to go all the way to the top of the 2nd pitch. Fortunately the 60m rope just reached

Back on familiar terrain - the steep slab we had already jumared and abseiled several times

SP does the last abseil

One more abseil got us to the bottom of the face

We put the gear on our backs for the abseils down the approach slabs

The swim in Tenaya Canyon felt good

Though we soon got sweaty again lugging all the gear back down the valley

2011-11-08, Rick McGregor, rmcgregor* (all rights reserved)
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