Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a place I have been going to for years. As a child my parents would annually pack up the old VW van, strap the bikes to the back and take the family for a two week long camping trip. As we get older, our time together becomes slimmer. I find myself appreciating the times when I was a child more and more. This particular trip to Yosemite reminded me of so many thing’s my siblings and I would do. However this trip was nothing like any past trips, we were here to climb big rocks. A few buddy’s and I decided to step it up with our rock climbing skills and do a big wall climb, multi-pitch style. North Dome looked to be one of the safest, easiest and most doable climb for us.

The first day was just a warmup day for our climbing followed by a short hike into the top of the dome. Day two consisted of us bushwhacking our way down to the base of the dome, climbing all 1,300 feet of slab rock and hiking our way back out. Day 3 was a rest and relaxation, while day 4 was our day to pack up and make our way out of the park.

Kyle Simmons checking our first pitch route start

Kyle Simmons leading up the first pitch of North Dome, Yosemite National Park

After our climb we took a day off to recover from the 6 hours and 1,300 foot climb we had put our bodies through. That day consisted of sleeping in, buying beer and sitting by the river. We decided to make up a few games to pass the time. We started off with a balancing act. Who could walk  across the log that hung over the river and back without falling. I started, almost fell when I went to turn around… and we continued the process one by one. We added more beer with every step to see who would fall first. This game eventually turned into sitting on the log and watching tourists float down the river. We eventually got drunk enough to attempt a “plank”, Mike is clearly the best and Ryan (far left) is the worst. He ended up dropping his beer and jumping into the river, running down stream about 300 yards and saving this wounded soldier. Good work sir!

On our way out of the park Kyle took us to a local spot. He called “the slides” and its where a river streams down a granite slab and has obviously been for years. Its extremely smooth and gets you going pretty fast. One starts about 200 ft above a small pool and just sits down and slides, exactly like a theme park waterside!

Kyle overlooking the natural waterslides and sliding down, Tuolumne Meadows

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