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Yosemite Flailin’

10 Days in Yosemite

From the ocean to the valley, a small crew of Hive staff did the long drive to Yosemite to learn everything they knew about climbing all over again. The Hive North Shore gym manager gave us a brief overview from his point of view and fueled our climbing passion even more.

What was the best part of the trip for you?

Aside from the incredible views of the Valley at all times of day, unbelievable quality of the climbing, and being able to share 10 awesome days with a couple of my best friends?
I really enjoyed the social club that was Camp 4. We met people from all over the US and the world, and everyone we spoke to was so nice and so stoked, ready to share advice and trade war stories. Shout out to our new friend Chase from Tennessee who gave us some great route beta!

What was the worst part for you?

Probably the drive. We took my little 2000 Civic all the way from Vancouver to California, and it’s not especially roomy with 3 people and all that gear. At least with 3 drivers someone was always able to catch a nap while the other person made sure whoever was driving stayed awake.

Jurga getting silly at a Wal Mart in Sacramento

What were the biggest challenges you encountered?

Biggest challenge was definitely get used to the ethic — it’s way different than what we were used to in Squamish. We had parties climbing all over us and our anchors from day one, and it was hard being comfortable with that (we weren’t at all!). Bolted anchors are common here, but much, much rarer in the Valley. So when you have someone from another party climbing above your gear anchor, unclipping and reclipping your leaders’ pieces to make sure they don’t grapevine your rope with theirs, it’s actually pretty scary stuff! Also, the stories you’ve heard about sandbagging are absolutely true…. You have been warned 😉

Had to get pretty cozy on some crowded belay stances!

What was your favourite view?

Has to be Cathedral peak in Tuolumne. We hiked up a gorgeous approach trail for about 1.5 hours to the base, and by the time we got to the peak, the sun was getting ready to set. A 360° view of the surrounding areas like Matthes Crest and Tenaya Lake was unbelievably spectacular and left us all taking lots and lots of photos. Probably the best view I’ve ever had in my entire life. Also, It really added to the “wild” factor that the peak the 3 of us stood on was…small to say the least; probably no bigger than a couple square metres. Careful not to fall!

From the top of Cathedral Peak, standing on a small rectangle of granite with Ben and Jurga

Any other takeaways?

The wildlife there are tenacious and not to be meddled with! I was getting ready to cook us a couple of tasty steaks over the campfire one night, I turned my back for 1 second and there was a raccoon making off with an entire striplion steak!! It didn’t even run away quickly… Just casually waddled over to a tree and climbed up to chill with a friend while they considered their next move… I made quite the commotion, which attracted others from around camp who told us similar stories of their food being stolen by the furry duo.

Jurga and Ben following pitch 1 of Nutcracker
Ben cruising up Nutcracker (3rd pitch)
Kyle working through a 5.9 crack variation of Nutcracker

What an adventure. Sandbagging aside, the biggest lesson here is… beware the racoons in Camp 4, folks!
Thanks for sharing, Kyle!