I’ve been climbing for years but had never done multipitch or Trad climbing until this week. Multipitch is where you climb more then one length of rope high and then set a belay which you use to do another pitch right above you. Trad climbing is when you use “traditional” methods of protection that do not stay fixed, unlike the bolts I usually climb on. Nuno and I headed into Yosemite and the first thing we climbed was Nutcracker, a 600ft tall 5 pitch route that goes at 5.8 and was first ascended by Royal Robbins. It was the first route in Yosemite to be sent using only nuts for protection rather than pitons, hence the name, Nutcracker.
I was a little nervous the morning of the climb, we made oatmeal and it reminded me of eating oatmeal pre-race back in my running days. Nuno and i were actually talking about how this was interesting because for this climb I wasnt worried about my performance, I was worried anout the risk of mortal injury and yet i had an almost identical feeling that i used to have before a race. What does that say about my (and most) runners motivations? -Nuno also wanted me to add that when I finished the first pitch I was sweating profusely. In my defense it was in direct sunlight and hot as hell.
Overall the climb went great. Nuno led the whole thing so I had the easy part, he tried to do the route relying as much on nuts as possible which meant that some parts were ridiculously run out but the grade was way below his level. Overall I thought belaying from a couple hundred feet up was scarier then climbing at the same height. The views of the valley from the wall were amazing, we could see Half Dome once we got near the top. I had three songs running through my head on the route and for some reason I remember them clearly. “Get some” by Lykke Li for the first two pitches, “The Knife” by Grizzly Bear the second two pitches, and “The Weight” by The Band for the last pitch. Getting to the top was a great feeling, we exchanged a few high fives, took a few pictures, started the hike down, and the adrenaline I’d had going for the better part of a day started to slowly subside.
These pics were all taken with my phone, better ones to come.