Ladies & Gentlemen

The Tippy Top

Posted in Uncategorized by MW on July 10, 2012

The tale and the truth: Snake Dike to Half Dome
Jared and I arrived to the trail-head at 5:30am and I was so tired from not getting any sleep the night before (I mean, hello!, it’s 5:30am!). We hiked along the trail and as soon as we came to the staircase at Vernal Falls I had a Guss Guss moment (imagine a fat mouse trying to carry an iron key up seven flights  of stairs). I took them slowly and paced myself, but man were they tough. Architecturally speaking, the granite steps were amazing and I would put them in the category “Wonder of the World” along with the Pyramids – truly amazing and what work people did to make this trail. Back to the hike. As we entered Little Yosemite it was time to detour to the make-shift hike to the base of our climb. We ended up on the wrong mountain and had to skid down to the valley where we passed Lost Lake (gorgeous, overgrown lime green grass, natures spring of life beautiful). Then, the brutal ascent. Think climbing boulders and zig-zagging through slabs and bushes. After some time we made it to the base of our climb (finalmente!!!). We geared up and started at it with much excitement and concentration. The first three pitches were the hardest – on the first there’s about 10 feet of horizontal balancing across a slab with nothing to hold on to and solely relying on friction. The fourth through sixth pitches are all dike climbing which was easy, but tiring and boy do your feet hurt. The seventh and eighth pitch were easy climbs, but the worst lay ahead. For 1000 feet we walked up a grade three slab which killed my feet and my calves. Then suddenly Jared yelled down (’cause maybe I wasn’t as fast as him…or something) and said we reached the top (praises). It was an awesome feeling to take off my climbing shoes and relax and eat and not do anything at all. Blessed day I made it to the top of Half Dome. It was an incredible view from the top and I could have stayed up there for hours (except for the fact that I wanted to eat a big plate of spaghetti). Basically, I’m proud of myself for accomplishing a goal and for not complaining along the way. Actually, a lot of the time I was feeling like Tony Perkins from Heavyweights – “Come on you demon log!” – it was a great moment (story cont. after the pic).

After I soaked in all the glory it was time to head back to the car. We only had 6.5 miles to go. The cables weren’t so bad without gloves and we managed to get down just fine, but goodness the cables are forever long. We reached the granite steps that would lead us down Half Dome to the forest below and by this time (like, .4 miles into the descent) I was pooped (not a good sign, in fact, a really bad sign). I took my time and trudged through like a trooper, but then I felt like puking (the whole day my “meals” consisted of energy bars (bleh!) and string cheese (double bleh!)). By Little Yosemite I wanted to spew and lay on the ground because my calves took a beating on the climb and now they were out of commission, but we still had 4.5 miles to go! Reluctantly, I got up and just put one foot in front of the other and actually made it to the top of Nevada Falls. I took each step down in slow motion and had a big pouty look on my face the whole time. Then, as we finished filtering water at Vernal Falls, I broke down and pouted and tears welled up in my eyes and I told Jared, “I’m sleeping here and I’m not moving….I can’t move.” He looked concerned, but motivated me to stand up and press forward (he’s such an inspiration to me, by the way he carried the heavy stuff and never complained, what a hunk). Fine, I got up and we eventually made it down to the trail-head by 9;30pm (if you don’t know how to count that’s 16 hours from the time we started. If you do know how to count don’t bother I just did the math for you…you’re welcome). Miraculously, a bus came shortly after we made it down to take us to Curry Village and we didn’t need to walk the mile to the car, Halleluiah! I could barely walk and like a champ Jared walked me to get dinner at the lodge. We were beat and tired and I had some funny rash burn from walking through stick bushes and being in the sun all day. Around 11:00pm we started driving home and I could barely keep awake. Thankfully, (another miracle for sure!) we found an open motel around midnight…when I say motel I actually mean extra trailer they had available (very WT, but it had a bed and a bar of soap and shower so we weren’t picky). We slept and slept and by morning I was immovable, but check out called and we turned in our key. We dined at Priest Cafe and food never seemed so delicious (they have amazing sweet potato fries). After arriving home, real showering (with shampoo, not a bar of soap), and eating more it was time for bed…I never laid on anything sweeter than my own linens. Sunday my legs barely worked and it took a lot to go up and down the stairs or even get out of the car (a prediction of what elderly years will look like). After reflecting and feeling better (I can walk again like normal) I am so glad I did the climb – it was certainly an adventure!

Note: Oddly this was in my head while I was climbing – I don’t know either.

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4 Responses

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  1. brittney said, on July 10, 2012 at 1:25 am

    I TOTALLY forgot to ask you about this. I had it on my list of things to ask you. Obviously our conversation was just too interesting to get to this stuff. good thing you blogged about it.

  2. Meg Dicou said, on July 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Holy cow women!!! You and Jared are superstars!!!! I am seriously tired from just reading your post. Can you imagine if Taylor and I tried to do that? I don’t know who would break into tears first. Probably Taylor, he hates hiking 🙂 I am so proud of you. Seriously. And I was thinking I wanted to go up to Yosemite and camp for a day. Would the Woods want to come? It sure would be fun hanging out with you guys again. We miss you!

  3. Rachel B said, on July 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Way to go! wow, that sounds so tiring. I’m a proud roommate right now. I haven’t done something so athletic in…forever? Maybe you’ll be an inspiration for me to get off my bum and get moving 🙂 Love the picture.

  4. dolly said, on August 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    praises indeed, what a tale to tell!!! that sounds straight up exhausting. you did it. hope you got a shirt that says “i made it to the top!” i know that feeling of having so much more to go…and if you forecast and think about it it can send anxiety all through your soul. i’ve never known any one who climbed up sans cables. surely your badge of honor is much shinier than others. 🙂 you, go, girl. xoxo


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