What was your first climb in Yosemite Valley?


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rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Apr 11, 2015 - 11:57pm PT
Could have been in 1970 or 71. Probably one of the five open books or maybe Higher Cathedral Spire. It's all kinda fuzzy that far back.

The most memorable one in the way back time was The Yawn in 72. I remember turning the corner and thinking we had it in the bag until the first sight of the upper 250' corner, rated only 5.7 at the time.

Social climber
san joser
Apr 12, 2015 - 08:54am PT

Somewhere around the devils bathtub area. Didn't have a guidebook and was with non-climber friends. We had one harness and some nuts and hexes and slings. I got up something and set up a tr. No one perished and we all had a blast.

I came back a few weeks later with a climbing buddy and a topo and went up Royal Arches.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 12, 2015 - 10:05am PT
NW Face of Half Dome - just missed the FWA AND the first clean ascent.
Didn't get the latter because it never occurred to us there was such a beast.
I don't think we used more than six or seven pins.
the goat

north central WA
Apr 12, 2015 - 04:53pm PT
Cookie Center in '74 wearing PA's and plugging in hexes, I was gripped. Climbed with a kid I met in C4 from Mountain View. We did two more climbs together and never saw him again.

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Apr 13, 2015 - 03:24am PT
My first visit to the Valley would have been around 1993, I think it would have been Stone Groove, then Reeds Pinnacle Direct, the next day we did the East Buttress of El Cap, the day after, it was up to the Meadows for Regular Route on Fairview.

Happy days!


Trad climber
Apr 13, 2015 - 08:16am PT
Bishop's Terrace in 2012 with my friend Dan who I met the night before in the camp 4 line at 5 in the morning. I was 2nd in line and he was 3rd.

Trad climber
Menlo Park, CA
Apr 13, 2015 - 09:15am PT

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 13, 2015 - 09:43am PT
Right side of the Cookie. It wasn't pretty.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Apr 13, 2015 - 11:26am PT
The right side of the Cookie deserves respect. And, the upper corner of the Yawn is pretty damn hard for 5.7!

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Apr 13, 2015 - 11:31am PT
East Butt of Middle.....

It was a long, long day but perfect conditions.

I did not however enjoy some ants that were apparently guarding some shrubbery I had anchored myself to very securely.


Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Apr 13, 2015 - 11:42am PT
I don't know, might have been the column:

Have no idea, how do you guys even remember this stuff? haha

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 13, 2015 - 11:50am PT
I'm pretty sure swan slab was the first time I climbed anything in the valley, though I don't recall which of the routes I did first. First bottom to top climb would be the nutcracker.

Flank of the Big Horns
Apr 13, 2015 - 11:55am PT
East Buttress of Middle on our post High School graduation trip, end of June 1990. As teenagers without alarm clocks we naturally slept in and finally found a parking spot near the base of Middle Cathedral and started the hike up about 10. The route was empty! How damn lucky is that? We made it to the top of the second pitch, when the first party of two caught us. Sure you can pass, we’ll just look at El Cap some more. At the base of the 5.10 pitch another party caught us. Sure you can pass, we’ll just look at El Cap some more.

This proved to be unfortunate later as they slowed down to a snail’s pace. Finally about dark we topped out. How does this descent go? You put a light in the pack right? No. Oops. Using our better judgment we parked ourselves under a tree and watched with envy the people on El Cap. I bet they have sleeping bags, and coats, and water. Bastards. We counted stars and sat as close together as possible, wobbly with our arms inside our t shirts. Ahh, morning light!! Down we went, back to the van. We drank all the water we had there, and finally felt semi human again. We chucked the parking ticket in the trash, I crawled under the van to hit the starter with the hammer and away we went in search of food.


Trad climber
Apr 13, 2015 - 02:35pm PT
Church Bowl Chimney.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 13, 2015 - 04:18pm PT
An epic attempt to find Monday morning slab, pretty sure we did get on the apron. Rapped off '72?
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Apr 13, 2015 - 05:04pm PT
On El Cap's base in 1970 with Phil Gleason. We did Moby Dick, Ahab, the Slack, and the Slack Center.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Apr 14, 2015 - 12:01pm PT
Left Side of Reed's Pinnacle with the OW finish.

You might ask, why this rather obscure slug fest for a first Yosemite climb? Drove over from Colorado (Ft.Collins) for my first spring break (1976) with a bunch of other folks. Got paired up with Mark Wilford (he was still in High School, his first trip to the Valley too). So we all go to Reed's on our first day and, of course, someone else got on Reed's Direct before we could. But we didn't drive all that way to sit around waiting, so we saw that line was free and said let's do it. Reed's Diret was our 2nd climb. Had a fun week climbing with Mark.


Trad climber
Fair Oaks
May 31, 2019 - 11:46pm PT
Hardings Route then The Flake on Glacier Point late 70's. My dad and I didn't quite make it in a day and bivied under a bush on the wall.

Mountain climber
May 31, 2019 - 11:58pm PT

Swan Slab Gully with my kids.
It was the start of many great adventures for our family.
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