As promised a video edit of what I have shot in the whole season in Yosemite in 2015!
Our third Yosemite Rock Trip since 2013, lots have changed since the first trip and we are still looking for more ways to make the trips more enjoyable and fun for our participants. Constantly looking for new itineraries to suit individuals, I’m glad every season is getting better and better. It will not be possible without your support and I want to thank everyone who have come for our trips and have faith in us to take you out here to hang out on the rocks.
2015 Yosemite Rock saw our first grade V big wall guided ascent in Yosemite with Rene from Holland on Mount Watkins. The initial plan to climb Half Dome via the Regular North West Route was foiled after some big ass rock fall occurred from the visor after which the whole pitch came off! I decided I was too young to die and make other plans to climb Mount Watkins which was equally good if not better than the Regular North West Route.
We also have our first female big wall participant! Essentially other than Kelly, no other women in Singapore have made it up a big wall. Super Siok is the second and after spending about 10 days in the Valley we decided she is ready to go crush some big walls! A power packed 10 days itinerary sees them climbing some famous routes like the Snake Dike on Half Dome, a 8 pitch mega classic, South Face on Washington Column with Super Siok jugging only 3 pitches on this route.
Kelly and I barely had any time to hang out and do some climbing, but whenever we have a break we will dash onto the walls and get some done! Being all tired and worn out from the whole month of guiding, we decided to head up Lurking Fear on El Cap when a heat wave was coming. Thinking that Singaporeans are never too afraid of the heat, we were wrong and got burned off the wall from high temperatures, leaking water bottles, broken haul bag and a seared haul line. Bummer but it also serves as a reminder that I do get tired sometimes and its only wise to retreat when all goes against you.
We also put together a Singapore Taiwanese team to work on Separate Reality. A mega classic roof crack and made famous when Wolfgang Gullich soloed the route! I promptly recruited 5.14 climber Xiao Pao from Taiwan who lives in LA to get on this project with me. Both of us have not climbed a roof crack before and when we found the route (which by the way was the crux), both of us were amazed and at the same time intimated by it. I got pushed up as the rope gun and set off to get the gears up on the route. The jams were pretty pumpy and the constant tension on the hips and back in order to keep the feet in the crack was burning my core. Soon enough I was out of the crack and out of gas at the tight hands crux. A few burns on the route and I knew I have to get some specific training on before jumping back on the route.
The most notable climb was the North Face of Rostrum. Leading all pitches and on sighting the first 4 pitches was my super proud moment in my climbing career in Yosemite. However the top 3 pitches proves to be the real crux for me as I humped and bitch my way up the OW pitches and pitch 7. It was a important climb because when I started out climbing in Yosemite a friend once told me I will never be able to get that route done. Which is kinda true till now since I did not onsight the entire route however, I feel it wouldn’t be out of reach and it will be part of my goal and route to free climb a route on El Cap.
When I met Tommy Caldwell in the Valley store, the man told me to keep going and its great that we are so committed to climb the walls in Yosemite flying half way around the world to hurl ourselves on the granite monolith. Coming from the man who spent 7 years on a route, I’m determined we will get there one day if we do not stop trying!
Yosemite Rock Trip 2016 here we come! Live an adventure with us too!