I was working in Yosemite which meant lots of time in the park, but precious few actual climbing days. I had planned to do Snake Dike on my one day off a week, but was having a hard time finding partners. A Norwegian woman named Synne from a different department had caught my eye, we'd hung out with friends a couple times, no biggie. As we were sitting around eating lunch, I griped about not finding anyone to do Snake Dike with me. She expressed interest in going. She had never climbed before.
A few short belay tips the night before, and we were on our way to SnakeDike.
Hiking in was no biggie. Right after we left the trail, we passed a stagnant little pond, Synne suggested we refill here and use iodine tablets. Naw, said I, we have almost a full liter, lets just keep going.
At the base Synne flat out refused....There's no way I'm climbing up that thing....
Oh yes you are, I countered, we didn't hike this far to turn around.
We roped up and I led out. Yes, it's run out in places, but it isn't a death route. At the last natural pro anchor, Synne, having been poorly instructed, left the cams and gear behind. I tried to hide my irritation as she lowered me back down to retrieve them.
By this point we were on the dike itself, and things were looking better. Except, in her cotton-mouthed fear, Synne lusted for more water. Since we were down to 1\4 liter, I strictly rationed to one swallow per pitch. She hatefully chewed my out for stupidly passing the 'lake' without refilling, and telling her how much she could drink.
Pitch after thirsty pitch of excellent climbing followed, with frequent referrals to water, milkshakes, fresh pineapples and mangoes from the Norwegian.
Finally the roped climbing ended, and we trudged up endless slabs to the summit. I was so thirsty I ate some of the summit snow patch, which was extra filthy in late July.
We hiked out, with darkness falling just past Nevada falls. Both of us were glad to be off, and a little irritated at the other person's mistakes.
But one thing led to another, and now we're married, living in Norway, and climbing whenever we get the chance.
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