A long awaited return to my favorite part of the world, the High Sierra of California. It is now three years in a row that I have packed the car to go south for the purpose of seeking out Sierra Gold. Eureka! Initially Yosemite signs direct you off the I-5 from Sacramento spiking excitement levels, but also doubt that such a sublime setting could truly exist. More towards the valley, any lingering doubt is slowly annulled as farmlands turn into steep passes, and the unmistakable smell of Sierra pines floods the nostrils, and the cool dry air that has been swirling for ages among granite hills breezes over those little hairs on your arm. I remember so clearly now what I’ve been missing, I am home, a home among homes! The memory of the sensations felt when all seems to be in unison fade over time without my permission and they don’t even ask. But the love of a place does not fade because I always remember it as the cause of Joy. The Sierras for me, what then for you?
You’ll have to see them, the big granite domes, the high elevation buttresses, the striking pinnacles, and the walls that span to the sky, oh even the Valley is worth seeing, tourists and all. I think it is a blessing to be alive.
How blessed we are, able bodies, challengeable spirits, youth to boot. Twenty-Six and already the years pass by faster seemingly faster than yesterday to today. It doesn’t make sense so much, time nor life, nor why things are, some but not completely. But when sitting on top of such a beautiful dome, and one looks out the expanse, Conness, Daff, Cathedral, and beyond, I realize that the Sierras are my retreat. It is a place where like wayfarers before me, accompanied perhaps with climbing cords, some with film, and others with a pen have materialized masterpieces by returning to His unspoiled world.
OoooOOOoooo; my first time to Tuolumne, our mirth is uncontainable!
Fairview is the preeminent dome of Tuolumne, where the climbing history of the Regular line is rich. How such a long blank face is scalable without direct aid is unbelievable until the climber climbs. He climbs to discover that in fact, blank sections are peppered with dear chicken heads, and big ledges to dihedrals that are easier than they look. Even the harder pitches will go when one uses some tact in foot placement on polished edges. The rock is gentle, the upper pitches cruiser, and with a moderate pace and no thunderheads in the distance, it makes for a potentially highly positive outing. Being the first on the rock gave us clear sailing for the entirety of the route.
Oh and by the way, Sierra granite has a distinct smell. Only after repeat visits, do the olfactory become accustomed to the scent. Repeated jams help to seal it into your hands. Does anyone know of what I speak about? There’s already been ascents of Sierra Granite, won’t someone create a scent named “Sierra Granite.”
Perfect! The first day completed, and a few remain before we make our way out east to Utah for a friend’s matrimonial celebration. What to climb? The options abound and the gears begin to spin as we contemplate efforts, permits, and weather. Forget it. Let’s think about it in the morning because it’ll come when it does.