Katie Lambert, writing on her blog about a summer spent climbing some of the hardest routes in one of my favorite places on Earth, Tuolumne:
The exposure was surreal and it was starting to give me the creeps. I thought to myself that all I had to do was mantle up, make a couple of moves and get to the next bolt. Except the holds were dirty and covered in lichen and every time I pulled up with a heel hook into the mantle my hands would slip a little and every time I would climb back down and way back left to the last bolt 15 feet behind me. I did this about 5 times, each time looking back at my 9.1 rope draped across sharp knobs, wondering if the sideways fall into the unknown below the roof would cut my rope. Eventually I returned to the belay, leaving behind two lowerout biners and we rapped to the ground. John Bachar Lives played over and over in my head as we walked down the trail and I was more intrigued than ever.
This piece really took me back to my trip to Tuolumne and made me realize that no matter your skill level anyone can have that quintessential Tuolumne experience whether it’s on a 5.5 or on a 5.13. It seemed fitting to finally post this on the day the national parks re-open.