All posts tagged: Yosemite

Standing on the Shoulders: A Tribute to Royal Robbins

There’s a palpable energy within Yosemite Valley. One that has inspired past and present generations alike to seek adventure, exercise curiosity, and pursue self-discovery. Like many who have come before me, I have always felt a magnetic pull to this incredible place. The landscape’s unwavering indifference to those within it is strangely comforting. Perhaps it relieves the heavy burden of expectation weighting on our shoulders. Or perhaps the smell of pine needles and the sound of the bumbling river are simply soothing to the soul. While the granite walls are quiet and unresponsive, they are deeply saturated with the rich and ever evolving history of those drawn to this landscape. They line the Valley like a series of blank sheets, which, over time, have been etched with the artful stories of dreamers and creators. Each story builds upon the last and creates a foreword for future stories to come. Of all the personalities that have graced the walls of Yosemite, Royal Robbins left a particularly influential impact, forever changing the direction of climbing’s story. Robbins …

The NIAD

I was wide awake. The bandanna I had tied around my eyes to fool myself into sleeping was a lost cause. I peered out from underneath my bandanna only to find Adam peering back at me from underneath his. We gave up and went into the kitchen. The clock on the stove read 5:00 pm. We had been strategically going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier in preparation for our climb, but I guess going to sleep at 3:00 pm was a little too extreme for our bodies to accept. What should we do? Should we drive to the Valley and start climbing? Should we try to get some work done? Read? Eat? We wanted nothing more than to be well-rested for the climb. I Googled “foods that make you fall asleep” for inspiration. We had a snack, reviewed the topo one more time, and assumed the position – lying in bed with bandannas over our eyes. My phone whistled alive and I instantly snapped up from a light sleep and turned the alarm …

Sacramento Blues

It’s not that uncommon for recent college graduates to spend a year or two traveling – a big adventure to get it all out of their system before settling into the monotony and responsibilities of everyday life. It’s a natural rite of passage – a well tread trail that many travel down. Up to this point, I had graduated from the University of Maine and lived out of a converted Pontiac Montana minivan with my boyfriend Adam, while traveling around the west, climbing and working seasonal jobs. It only seemed natural that I would eventually need to work a ‘real’ job and settle down. I scoured online job boards for full time openings and sent in applications whenever a position sounded remotely interesting. Most of the time I never heard back, so when I received a message in my voicemail inquiring about setting up an interview, I didn’t think twice before calling back. In October of 2013, I officially accepted a job offer with the Pacific Crest Trail Association and joined the other 480,000 people living …

Climbing The Nose on El Capitan

My connection with Yosemite National Park began long before I ever set foot within the state lines of California. I was captivated by the larger-than-life stories that descended from the steep granite walls and covered the pages of climbing magazines. The stories depicted timeless tales of adventure, discovery, and passion through the eyes of climbing legends. Yosemite Valley has long been considered the mecca of long, hard rock climbing, but there’s more to it than that. There’s an energy within the Valley. An energy that drives climbers to push hard and redefine the boundaries of what they thought possible. I could sense this energy from the other side of the country, and I felt both curious and compelled to experience it first-hand. Of all the routes scattered throughout the Valley, there was one route in particular Adam and I had our hearts set on – the Nose. The Nose runs directly up the center of El Capitan, a 3,000 foot formation once considered impossible to climb. In 1958, after being beat to the first ascent …