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#4417 - 05/18/10 04:58 PM Feeling Royal on the Arches
AxeMan Offline

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 29
Loc: Puppetville West
Well, while Laura was putting in a show on Cardinal, a few of us had a grand day on Royal Arches.

It seems that it's been kind of a wet spring so far, and Yosemite hasn't been spared. After less than a minute's debate, we decided to fire up the route, even though every other pitch was either slimy or had a racing fall of water on the cracks that would've kept us on route.

Not one for alpine starts when there's no approach, we started at 9:00am to a slippery and cramped chimney with the only holds akin to grabbing dead mackerels and standing on sloping bars of soap. (Oh, how I much prefer dry rock sometimes...) Regardless, we were off the deck and just decided we'd go as far as we could.

We got into our usual flow and with simul-climbing a few of the pitches, we were making really good time---which enabled us to take some of the steeper lines for fun (I recommend running the 5.8 lieback on pitch 6 and bypassing the 5.6; along with doing the 5.7 finger crack off left on pitch 7---which places you on the big rounded flake with a couple of big exposure friction mantles, bypassing the class 4 crack---which was flowing with water anyway).

Other than a couple of pitches done in soft rain, and having to go barefoot after the pendulum pitch, it was a fairly tame and leisurely---but by no means less-than-spectacular---day. We hit the rappel route at about 6pm and started the long descent (11 raps for a group of four, most of them double rope with some 3rd class down-climbs thrown in). It's truly wonderful to be high up on a moonless night, watching the stars come out, seeing the campfires, joking, taking pictures and listening to the murmur of a Valley getting ready for bed.

We touched down just before 11pm to a silent Ahwahnee then drove back to camp for a tasty dinner and a celebratory bottle of wine---and the anticipation of another great day of climbing within a few short hours...

...and it all pretty much looked like this.

#4421 - 05/18/10 06:07 PM Re: Feeling Royal on the Arches [Re: AxeMan]
MooseTracks Offline

Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Must be the getting older thing... you forgot that you don't write TRs... wink

I still wish I could've been there, especially to see the barefoot traverse in person. You're my hero! shocked

Happy Birthday, Jeff. smile

Flickr Pics

Think outside the Zone.

#4427 - 05/18/10 10:53 PM Re: Feeling Royal on the Arches [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
That's a good enough Trip Report for me! (now if he'd only write in English) wink

I'd like to do that -- (Well ...maybe in another lifetime.)

Beautiful picture: Cool shot with Half Dome and the Diving Board in the background!

Thanks for the report, Jeff! Enjoyed all the pictures.

#4430 - 05/19/10 07:24 AM Re: Feeling Royal on the Arches [Re: AxeMan]
CaT Offline

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Great TR Axe.
Really enjoyed the pics too.
Looked like a wonderful climb.

If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

#4463 - 05/20/10 10:58 PM Re: Feeling Royal on the Arches [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
There once was an Axe with a Man,

who defeated the moss with "I can!"

With nothing to lose,

but a pair of old shoes,

he took to the Arches and ran.
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

#4467 - 05/21/10 09:20 AM Re: Feeling Royal on the Arches [Re: Bee]
AxeMan Offline

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 29
Loc: Puppetville West
Haha! Good one, Bee.

Yes, as you can tell it was a great trip. And considering that most trip reports have a Whitney training element to them, I would highly recommend Royal Arches as a practice for the East Face o' Whitney route (or vice versa).