A Week in the Big Ditch

I'm finally spending some serious time getting ready - or trying to get ready - to take my AMGA Rock Guide Exam in October.  Yosemite Valley is notorious for hard grades, so I headed there for a week with friends to climb.

Pictures will get loaded up later this week, but for now:

Camp 4 is really cool.  Spanish, Catalan, German, French, Czech, English, Manchester (it really is a different freakin' language) - 200+ people in a walk in campground, most there to climb, sharing a common love of adventure.  Despite the immensity of the stone surrounding us, it really is a small sandbox - those who can't play well with others don't last near as long or have as great an experience as those who can.

Camp 4 is really dirty.  Not trashed, just...dirty!  Picture what will happen, naturally, when those 200+ people walk through the same campsites and paths day on sandy soil day after day after day...you probably can imagine this.  Showers kick ass.

Lowest point of the trip.  Having to back off of the Steck-Salathe because my foot hurt too much to jam it into an off-width crack.  Granted, I've been doing it for the last four days, but really, after three weeks shouldn't my broken toe be healed by now?  Anyways, a day of rest (and Aleve), and...

Highest point of the trip.  Climbing the Central Pillar of Frenzy (5 pitches, 5.9) and Crescent Arch (5 pitches, 5.10b).  Matalo!!!

We'll see if this pays off next week in Vegas.  Stay tuned!!

P.S.  Thanks to Nick, Meredith, Alli, Braden, and Andrew for coming along.  You guys rock!!