We spent the next four days at this Tremadog-esque crag (it isn't as good mind) ticking our way through the classics: The Line, Hospital Corner (very Tremadog), Traveller's Buttress (overrated) amongst others.
We then had a cool morning at the very windy and rattle snake infested (not cool) Phantom Spires. I lead Fear of Flying, a really hard 5.9 up a blank groove. In the afternoon we headed to the Sugarloaf. I was pretty tired though so I just top roped and seconded the others.
The next day we drove south, via some hot springs, to Bridgeport, the nearest settlement to the Incredible Hulk. After spag bol for tea we had an early night ready for our early start the next day.
I slept badly and was woken in the night by horns hooting and people shouting. I went back to sleep assuming it was just Americans being Americans. When we woke at 5 Duncan asked if i'd heard the bear which had brushed past their tent. After a quick breakfast we set off towards the Hulk. The walk in wasn't too bad except for the scree slope to reach the base of the crag.
There were two parties ahead of us as we neared the route. the first of which was moving incredibly slowly. Impatient as ever I soloed up to the base of the route and waited in the cold. I coaxed Burrows up and we waited for an age, while the chummers in front frigged their way up the Red Dihedral, which they split into two pitches. Eventually they got to the top of it and Burrows set off. Cold and wanting to get a move on he pulled on a few pieces. I followed suit on second. I then lead the next two pitches, where i was able to overtake on of the teams in front by climbing a 5.9 variation. Ollie lead the two remaining pitches that brought us to the summit ridge, where we caught up with Duncan and Mark who had climbed the Falling Dihedral varriation.
While we were waiting I heard a girl's voice ask if we had any spare water. I turned to see this little girl. It turned out she was twelve and had climbed Positive Vibrations (5.11a so E4ish) with her mom and dad. We climbed up to the summit and then rapped down (all seven of us using the ropes of the of party who had held us up all day). We got back to the car just after dark and rewarded ourselves with a meal out in the campground resturant. We are now in Tuolumne where it is a little bit smokey. Hopefully we'll get some good routes done over the next few days.
|Bad scenes in the Meadows.|
|The Line - not a shit line|
|Ollie nearing the top of The Line.|
|Naming one's cams - needless to say alcohol was involved.|
|Al-man-ack crushing Candyland at the Phantom Spires.|
|A cold and angry hulk|
|A slightly warmer and less pissed off hulk|
|Team on the summit|
|The team and the Hulk|