Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 37.71450°N / 119.6354°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jun 15, 1991
DNB 15 JUNE 1991 4:30 am. Car door slams. Flashlights snap on. Feet on forest floor push from tight-wired legs, we sprint-walk to the base of this huge rock wall. Dawn. Two hundred feet up. The wall is a living, moving curtain of silverfish. As we climb up, the bugs above us hurl themselves into space. we are engulfed in a living downpour, a turbulent waterfall, of silverfish. In our eyes. In our ears. In our mouths. Eight am... we're flying. As I stretch for the distant, tiny hold on the crux face traverse into the center section of the wall, two parties at the bottom of the route curse the silverfish: We smile. Should we tell them that after 300 feet the critters are gone? Naaaah.... One of the parties backs off and leaves in fish-coated disgust. We sip precious water. The center section slows our pace with problem after problem. I struggle up a poorly-protected 5.10 face, slippery fear and the hungry void nibbling at the back of my neck. Pat falls, later curses a chimney. Far below, the second group can't solve the riddle of the runout 5.10 face. They too, descend. Sunlit sky crashes into this wall in an endless, roaring, soundless wave in our minds. The water is almost gone. Two thousand feet up, the wall above looks like a full day of climbing. Grit, dirt. Open abrasions on our elbows and shoulders ooze plasma, crusting with the filth, cracking, oozing, and crusting again. We finish the water. Bushes, jumbled rock, heat. The only moisture is the trickle of muddy sweat into our stinging eyes. Summit. We stumble across the brush-infested boulder slopes in a heat-induced delirium, tongues sticking to the roofs of our mouths. Several hours pass as we wander around in dehydrated confusion, making no progress. A foaming, white cascade shimmers through the heat haze from the bottom of a distant gorge, but we turn our parched bodies toward the summit of Higher Cathedral Rock, the trail, and the car, which we reach at 9:30 pm. Next morning: "Hey Pat! LETS GO CLIMBING!!" END


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darinchadwick - Jun 12, 2007 2:52 pm - Voted 10/10


Yeah, I was one of those parties that backed off after wandering around that poorly protected 5.10 section, though at a different date. After reading your trip report, I'm not sure if I'm glad I did or not.

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