Friday, October 26, 2012

2012 AAC International Climbers Meet

Here is a trip report (mostly photos) from the 2012 American Alpine Club's
International Climbers Meet in beautiful Yosemite Valley California.

This year I was a host climber again for the extravaganza.  We had more participants
this time, again coming from all over the globe.  South Africa, Sweden,  Norway, Scotland,
Britain, Nepal,  Brazil, and the list goes on... 

The same caterers came again this year to feed us hungry climbers.  Even know I climbed
8 of the 10 days I was in Yosemite, I don't think I lost any weight.  3 catered meals per day!

It was great to meet many new folks, and reconnect with old.  Also it was delightful to see
all these folks coming together, and pushing their personal climbing boundaries.  We had
everything from people cragging, to going on long classic day routes.  There was even a
20 hour adventure on the Royal Arches climb!  Those involved were psyched on the
ascent, but very tired upon returning to camp.
My little I-Tent looking out of place with all the RVs

The weather was very good overall.  A lot less hot than last year, when we were in the 90s F.
During the stewardship day some worked on the east ledges descent trail from El Capitan.
Others went about cleaning up trash around the valley floor.  During part of my clean up at
the base of ElCap we discovered a mangled bucket that fell from high up.  Shaking it we
pondered the thoughts of what might be inside...  Is it poop in there or what?!  Not being able
to open the damaged top from the ground impact, we used a rock to break it open.  To our joy
it was not the dreaded toilet, but instead filled with energy bars, goo packs, cheese, and what's
this mystery liquid filled in a water bottle?  Sniff, sniff, taste... Ahh, good quality tequila! 
We ate the cheese, split the bars amongst us, and enjoyed the lovely liquid surprise on this
cool cloudy day.  A real prize for our clean up efforts!

Host climber Rob Pizem gave an excellent off width clinic which people seemed to really enjoy.

I was able to climb many nice routes during this event.  The "best" grade IV in the valley, N.E. Buttress
of Higher Cathedral Rock.  The Higher Cathedral Spire standard route which was the first multipitch
climb done in the valley, back in the early '30s!  My favorite one though, was before the event started.
After arriving in the valley, the weather was perfect, and I had a plan...  Go solo Snake Dike on Half Dome.
It is one of the 50 classic climbs of North America, on such a cool formation, and I had never done it...
What a blast, it's a 2000 foot route.  Only the first 1000 feet are roped terrain, then it eases off.  It has
about a 16 mile round trip camp to camp.  From the summit you descend the famed cables route.
It took me 3 hours to the base, 1 hour to climb, and 2 hours to return to camp.  I sat on the summit for
about 1 hour enjoying the views, a sandwitch, and a beer! 
Half Dome, with Snake Dike on the left skyline

Looking up the dike


Enjoy the photos!

Half Dome cables

Climbers on the shield, great roof to the right.  ElCap

Central pillar of Frenzy,  Middle Cathedral Rock

Me & Andrey (My friend from Brazil)

Andrey at the Cookie cliff

Steve Arsenault on the traversing pitch, Higher Cathedral Rock

Higher & Lower Cathedral Spires in the background

Topping out Higher Cathedral Rock

Higher Cathedral Spire

The rocks are not the only large items in the valley!

Andrew Burr hard at work

Pete crushing it!

Cathedral Spires & Middle Cathedral Rock

Tommy & J.Star getting ready for the project!


Arsenault having fun

Lindy wondering... Where is my hand holds?!


  1. The picture with the tent is funny. It looks like the meet was at an RV park.

  2. Hey Cory,

    Great photo's and a cool Blog! Thanks for sharing!

    Best Steve