preparing for yosemite


Original Post
cmartin1345 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 75

At the end of May I am headed to the Valley for my first time with a group of climbing friends. We will be climbing in the valley for a week. I can lead 5.10c-d on bolted routes and i can lead 5.9 on trad comfortably. I hope to be comfortable with following on 5.11 and leading 5.10 on trad as may comes around. Looking for suggestions on what training I should be doing and what is the best way to prepare for the valley. Because I will be in the Valley during May-June (that being the most crowded time of year) where is the least crowded campsites that are close to the climbing in the valley. I will of course climb some of the classics in the Valley but I would also like to hear some suggestions for less crowded walls with decent multi-pitch climbs. My last question would be, besides the standard rack (x2set of BD c4 cams size .5-4, x2 BD c3 cams size 000-2, set of nuts, few hexes) what other protection is nice to have and useful to have in The Valley. Any Yosemite locals who would like to help a Coloradan climber out on the details of the Valley it would be much appreciated.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
cmartin1345 wrote: Because I will be in the Valley during May-June (that being the most crowded time of year) where is the least crowded campsites that are close to the climbing in the valley.
You can reserve campsites in most of the campgrounds (Camp 4 is an exception).

https://www.recreation.gov (search Yosemite National Park, then, Campgrounds)

Reserve early, and if they are full, continue to check back as they get cancellations. Consider one of the following campgrounds: North Pines, Upper Pines or Lower Pines. Those are all in the valley.

The further away from the Valley, the less crowded. That time of year, especially weekends and holidays, will be packed.
BigNobody · · all over, mostly Utah · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0

Your rack looks ok. Except you will be limiting yourself if you don't have any #5 or #6's.

Make sure to get on Middle Cathedral. There's a Great old school Harding route with a bolt protected 10c crux.

cmartin1345 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 75

@bigNobody should I double up on #5-6? or is just having singles of the larger sizes would that limit me still?

BigNobody · · all over, mostly Utah · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0

I guess it depends how comfortable you are on wide stuff. Most longer free routes will have a bit of wide on them. If you have doubles you'll have more options. IMO at least. I have always hated grinding up shit scared.

Linnaeus · · Idaho Selkirks · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

Doubles in #5 and #6 is a big investment in money and weight. The #5 is in general more usable than the #6. On a lot of routes, you can bump a big cam until you feel you can run it out until the next piece. I would start with a #5, maybe take a #6 if you are planning some routes with longer wide sections, and not double up on either. Also, consider the Wild Country #5 and #6. The WC #6 is wider than the BD #6, size range is basically identical, and feels more stable and easier to bump IMHO.

Also, I would skip the hexes. You have plenty of cams. I would be thinning that rack down on a lot of classic moderates i.e. Central Pillar of Frenzy or Nutcracker.

Glenn Schuler · · Monument, Co. · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,070

As far as prep goes, go to Turkey Rocks and run laps on something near your limit.

Cameron Saul · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0
Linnaeus wrote:Doubles in #5 and #6 is a big investment in money and weight. The #5 is in general more usable than the #6. On a lot of routes, you can bump a big cam until you feel you can run it out until the next piece. I would start with a #5, maybe take a #6 if you are planning some routes with longer wide sections, and not double up on either. Also, consider the Wild Country #5 and #6. The WC #6 is wider than the BD #6, size range is basically identical, and feels more stable and easier to bump IMHO. Also, I would skip the hexes. You have plenty of cams. I would be thinning that rack down on a lot of classic moderates i.e. Central Pillar of Frenzy or Nutcracker.
+1 on all of this - no idea about the WC cams, tho. The rest is truth.

Im not big on c3s, but some people love them. Wouldn't bring 2 sets regardless.

If you have offset cams or nuts, they are amazing in the valley.
Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 63
Cameron Saul wrote: If you have offset cams or nuts, they are amazing in the valley.
I found these extremely useful when I was there last year so I echo this. Offset nuts are awesome in CO as well so worthy investment.

I would say prepare to be humbled and to climb easy. I am not a great crack climber and thought 5.7/8 in the valley was very difficult/hard to get used to. It is very different than what I climb in CO.
Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 0
cmartin1345 wrote:At the end of May I am headed to the Valley for my first time with a group of climbing friends. We will be climbing in the valley for a week. I can lead 5.10c-d on bolted routes and i can lead 5.9 on trad comfortably. I hope to be comfortable with following on 5.11 and leading 5.10 on trad as may comes around.
Get into full bore alligator wrestling shape. In every Yosemite route there is a fair bit of burl and thrutch. Prepare to lose some skin.
Being able to lead 10c-d on bolts isn't going to translate to 5.10 Yosemite trad well at all. You'll have a lot of fun but it won't be on the 5.10 routes.

A rack is a rack is a rack. Small stoppers (not tiny) and a double set of cams to BD #4. Your buddies should have racks also so if you need more you can combine racks. A five and a six wouldn't hurt but it won't be a deal breaker if you didn't have them.
The Northeast Butt of Higher Cathedral is a grest route and the only place I think someone at your level will need cams that large.

Good luck, be safe and have fun!
Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 655

+1 for this:

"As far as prep goes, go to Turkey Rocks and run laps on something near your limit"

And then go see what you can get up to in the Black. Those things are good for laps as well (they just take longer) and will help you sort your long-day scene out.

I would say that Mark's just trying to scare you about the alligator wrestling, but actually, he's right. Go thrutch until it feel easy.

And yeah dragging a bunch of boat anchors up so you can toprope the wide part on lead is a huge chore. Learn to get through that stuff with the minimum acceptable amount of ballast. you are obviously going to die so try and at least go out in good form.

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 0
Rob Dillon wrote: you are obviously going to die so try and at least go out in good form.
All of Rob's post is good but this part made me LOL!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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