Yosemite Dispatch 2

Daniel Woods learns how to trad climb?
Making the transition is hard, I went through that stage of sidepulling cracks, trying to grab insane crimps beside a 5.6 hand size crack and fumbling 5 minutes for one gear placement. Watching the above video made me remember how noob I can be and there are just insane amount of things to learn in climbing. Everyday is a new experience for me.
Me leading the traverse pitch in the looming storm. (photo by Kay)
Me leading the traverse pitch on Snake Dike in the looming storm. (photo by Kay)
Finally we are sitting down in Patrick’s kitchen cooking Masaman Chicken Curry getting ready to climb West Face of Leaning Tower tomorrow. 2.5 weeks of guiding, teaching, driving and insane amount of admin to sort out. My right hand woman, Kelly was the partner in all the adventures you are going to read below.
Kay on the first pitch of Nucracker, 5.8 on Manure Pile buttress.
Kay on the first pitch of Nucracker, 5.8 on Manure Pile buttress.
Kay arrived in San Francisco and we picked him up and drove him straight to the camp site. Got down with pitching the tents and woke up the following day for a 6 day climb fest ahead. I have been training with Kay and help him get a little more climbing in the gym and outdoor, teaching him how to lead climb and multi-pitch in Batu Caves. I also know he wanted to climb Half Dome via a climbing route, so it will be great for him to learn all the various crack climbing technique and beef up on wall endurance.First stop, Church Bowl, we put him on hand cracks, finger cracks, wide cracks and chimneys. Yes there was obscene grunting and a little cursing but we got up alright.
The full crew in action, Kelly on the easy pitch, Kay waiting for his turn to climb and Stephen belaying Meiling to the ledge
The full crew in action, Kelly on the easy pitch, Kay waiting for his turn to climb and Stephen belaying Meiling to the ledge
Next 2 days we focus on multi pitching and wall endurance. In order to do a big day in Yosemite, you need to spend hours on the trail hiking, hours on the wall belaying and climbing and hours descending. Thats the typical Yosemite Valley long days hence getting onto 5-6 pitches of multi pitch gets the body in shape.
Kay on the last few moves of Nutcracker with the Valley in full view behind him
Kay on the last few moves of Nutcracker with the Valley in full view behind him
We also visited some spots in Tuolumne to get some climbing in at above 8000ft altitude. Hiking to the crag makes you breathless and climbing it is another ball game. We climb some cracks and some runout faces.
Kelly puttiing up the ropes for Guides Crack
Kelly puttiing up the ropes for Guides Crack
Kay warms up on Guides Crack 5.8 lay back
Kay warms up on Guides Crack 5.8 lay back
So here’s the big day, Half Dome day for Kay, woke up at 6am, ate a huge breakfast and drink loads of water. We hiked slowly to the West side of Half Dome, which was about 4-5 hours from the Valley floor. Gain about 3000+ ft of elevation to the base of Snake Dike. Snake Dike is a easy but super run out climb on Half Dome. graded only 5.7R most of the climbing are 5.6 and below. But the lead climber has to do a 55m 1 bolt no gear lead on one of the pitches in the middle. So it really applies to confident lead climbers only.
We had no dramas and got to the top after it threaten to thunderstorm and piss all over us but wind was blowing towards Tuolumne so we had little and almost no rain.
Just starting the hike.. and everyone is smiling!
Just starting the hike.. and everyone is smiling!
Vernal Falls looking tall and proud!
Vernal Falls looking tall and proud!
Taking a long break at Lost Lake and admiring the backside of Half Dome.
Taking a long break at Lost Lake and admiring the backside of Half Dome.
The exposed walk along the base of Half Dome
The exposed walk along the base of Half Dome
At the base and not too sure if the weather permits us to climb.
At the base and not too sure if the weather permits us to climb.
Kay and Kelly running up the 1st pitch..
Kay and Kelly running up the 1st pitch..
Yes there are doggey moments on the 3rd class..
Yes there are doggey moments on the 3rd class..
Top out Glory moments!
Top out Glory moments!
One more end of trip photo before the cables!
One more end of trip photo before the cables!
Kay on the cables on the way down..
Kay on the cables on the way down..

Great job to Kay for reaching the top of Half Dome after a 12.5hrs day!

Right after Kay left, Franck and family arrived. We are faced with a task of getting something to do for everyone, daddy and mummy and 2 kids Theo, 11 and Nathan 9. Little did Kelly and I know that we are going to see some serious super kids activities around here.
Super kids at work..
Super kids at work..
We took them to see the Sequoia trees taking a easy 4 hours hike. It was great to see the everyone enjoyed the scenery and easy hiking.
The big trees are seriously big..
The big trees are seriously big..
Nathan at work on the 5.5..
Nathan at work on the 5.5..
The following day, the weather was calling for 95 and above temperatures and I thought it will be good to head up to the High Country to do some rock climbing. The boys love it and did superb on what the cracks threw at them. The best part of the day was when Theo TR a 5.9R- crack/face, he was crying on the way up since its kinda scary but when 5 minutes after he got down, he was asking when is going to be our next rock climbing session. =)
Theo at work on the Guides Crack
Theo at work on the Guides Crack
Mummy working it out on some lieback flake!
Daddy and mummy gets some action too!
Daddy and mummy gets some action too!
There was loads of energy in the Family so we went for a long hike on the the 3 day at about 7miles high, we got to some beautiful places high above the Valley, like Taft Point, Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome. When the Franck and the family got back they were still fresh and looks like ready for another hike, I knew the Half Dome hike is going to be a breeze.
View from Sentinel Dome
View from Sentinel Dome
Family outing at its best. Overlooking El Cap
Family outing at its best. Overlooking El Cap
We did some more rock climbing the following day taking a active rest day went to the river for some bridge jumping and swimming to relax those muscles. Half Dome day for the family started really early as we woke up at 5am while the camp site is still cold and quiet, we drove to the trail head and started blazing the trails. Hit up Vernal and Nevada waterfalls really quickly in cool temperatures and took a long rest in Little Yosemite Valley by the river. Taking regular breaks on the steep sections of the hike, the family arrive at the cables relatively fresh. Theo and Nathan did great on the cables, having no fear or problems whatsoever and they did not have problem clipping and unclipping from the cables on their own. Mummy Caroline is a little afraid of heights and was reluctant to get on the cables, but when she got on the cables it was smooth and she powered to the top of Half Dome!
The Family on the Cables! Half Dome!
The Family on the Cables! Half Dome!
New friends, lily on Half Dome
New friends, lily on Half Dome
Resting at the river on the way down from Half Dome
Resting at the river on the way down from Half Dome

That’s got to be on my credential with the whole family on the summit of Half Dome. I’m pretty sure Nathan is one of the youngest boys to summit Half Dome that day.

Will be looking forward to take them on other climbing adventures soon!
For those who have missed this Yosemite Trip, do not worry, Qxadventures, will be offering more activities for all levels of ability from rock climbing, abseiling, hiking and specialized courses in different parts of the world! So be sure to check this space often for updates or just email me at qxadventures@gmail.com for a customized trip!
Rest days can be airborne too. Thats Theo off the bridge into the river in his boxers..
Rest days can be airborne too. Thats Theo off the bridge into the river in his boxers..
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