I got for a few days to Krakow flew in on Tuesday morning, met close friends, obviously dentist and Krzysiek-magician, it was a really short visit. On Friday morning I was already on my way to the US.
When Wojtek and Maciek told me they’re gonna be in the Valley for 5 weeks I figured I can go to work during that time and take one or two weeks of. Later I learned that Terka is gonna be there as well. Fun times. I organized portaledge to borrow (we actually bought one as well) and got psyched for Big Wall climbing. After Masha’s accident everything faded away. I went there cause I planned to do so. I also wanted to meet Greg (Masha’s boyfriend) who decided to come up from San Diego… but let’s start from the beginning.
I got to the US, landed around 2pm, went down to MTV and picked up gear, by the time I was ready to depart to Yose, traffic got horrible. With myself being really tired after the flight, after a few hours of driving and some shopping I started to fall asleep behind the wheel. I have therefore decided to crash for the night in the usual spot before the park.
With a bit of jetlag I woke up at 5am and drove to the park to meet the guys. First day we went craging. We started with Generator crack (which should be rather called de-generator crack). A pretty brutal off-width, that crashed all of us. Then we went to Sentinel Creek and did a couple nice single pitches before it started to be too hot.
On Sunday I went with Wojtek to Toulomne Meadows and climbed Lucky Streaks on Fairview Dome. A good day out. I did not feel too scared, but I also did not manage to enjoy it at all. The climbing objectively is really, really good. The route is interesting, but … well… life. We did it relatively quickly and OS, though Wojtek led the hardest moves.
Than I went for a week of work. It was quite intense and unpleasant, also I still found it really hard to concentrate.
The following Friday I left work earlier and made it to the Camp4 in ~4h30min. I spend evening drinking and talking with Greg and Alex, and in this company we went on Saturday to climb Serenity Crack and … what ended up first pitch of Sons of Yesterday. We decided to rappel early to be back early enough to go to see Dawn Wall movie. Very good. What followed was a another good evening of drinking, where I actually had a chance to talk with Greg a bit more. It was I think good for both of us.
I really understand why Masha was into Greg, he is a really great person. Full of energy, and other good traits.
Terka arrived just early enough to watch Dawn Wall with us. The forecast was giving us just two days of good forecast. With mine limited experience on Big Walls and zero experience from Tereza, doing anything from what we planned earlier would be just plain stupid. Hence we settled on an objective that we thought was feasible (spoiler-it was) in two days. We went for Leaning Tower. Both Wojtek and Maciek as well as Honza had done it this year, so we got some tips. Packed and went relatively early on Sunday. We managed to start climbing around 10am. It looked good as there was noone in front of us, so we knew we’re gonna have good bivy spots for ourselves. Later there was one more team (much faster than us) that joined us – funny guys. We got to the bivy ledge and fixed two more pitches for the next day. Blazing 5 pitches on the first day ! :D, aid climbing is soooo slooow ! At the same time at times it really felt like a flow, that was the only good mentally moments during those days in Yosemite, when I was able to turn off thinking. The day later, still slow as hell 😀 we jummared fixed pitches and climbed (slooow!) the remaining three. Hauling was easy, we had too much water (should have brought beer !) as Wojtek and Maciek got dehydrated, so we didn’t want to have this problem and took a galon per person per day. The route was really good. No need for climbing shoes :-).
What followed was a day of cragging (3 pitches per team total) followed by a descent in a pouring rain and mud slides on the road. Tereza’s phone decided to get wet and die (it resurrected itself when she got back to SF), and I drove through a mud slide with stones and (probably) made a hole in the exhaust pipe… well… I managed to get back to SFO with no problems.
When it stopped raining we went to Washington Column. I wanted to try again South Face, but instead we got into a large shit show. There is way too many people. We ended up climbing I think 6 pitches and bail. Two pitches were from a Souther Man variation. A C2+ pitch that I led was horribly scary (as for my aiding skills) and really rewarding. A really thin crack for micro nuts (that I did not have enough of and had to back cleaned a lot).
On Saturday we tried Center of the Universe that I was not a fun of. And on Sunday I drove to SF and flew back to ZRH. Still no fun out of climbing but it was getting slowly tiny bit better.
Thanks to all of my friends for bearing with me :D.