Matthes Crest, CA – North to South Summit Traverse [5.7] (10918′)
One sexy outing! Treading in the footsteps of giants, and to think many of the old time pioneers never thought twice about employing any sort of safety measures past strength and skill. And to further think that the North-South Summit traverse is only half of the entire climb. Sure perhaps if I knew the route’s every difficult step, it might be fathomable. But then, even then does un roped climbing scare the wits outta me.
Simuling mostly all of it, the tricky sections were as follows: Finding the easy line of resistance to enter the traverse, then climbing a bit too high on the north summit and having to down climb a bit to traverse around to get to the notch. Then a “5’7” Fingercrack (?) Otherwise, it’s a ridge. Haha.
Not much to say, except for having the whole ridge to ourselves for most of the day until we encountered another party coming our way as we climbed up the North Summit. The views are incredible, to complement a climb with an unquestionably unique character. For this reason, every pilgrim climber must set his or her eyes upon Toulumne up high on this sterling masterpiece. Skip along, crawl like I did in parts, and don’t try to write a proper trip report. How can one describe a ridge, nonetheless, a near perfect one? Up and down it goes of course, but the only apostrophes in the experience are pure moments of bliss. And then the day’s biting wind reminds the climber that it’s time to rap off tatty sling on to the leeward, windless, sun baked side.
Yes we were somewhat tired, and now we were off, back to the car. Hiking past mount Cathedral lit by the setting sun, many deer of whom stopped in their tracks, perking their ears to identify positively our presence. It was a good-day, a great day and such days that when our bones are brittle and our hair thin, that we may look back to and will turn any bleak moment into a grin.