Damien and I spent our first full day in Yosemite getting a feel for the granite and valley climbing style at Swan Slabs. This area has a fair amount of good top-ropes and “easy” leads. I put easy in quote because Yosemite rating are very stiff compared to WA. We found that we had to add 2-3 grades to the rating.

We started the day out a bit rocky. We walked around the back of the crag on the left set to set up a top rope for West Slabs (5.6-5.8). We walked a bit to far and found that what appeared to be s simple scramble to the top of the crag was more like a few 5.5 moves. I retrieved our trad gear and Damien led to the top of the ledge. It turned out that we ended up way too high and were several ledges above the slab. We rappelled and found that we simply had to walk to the top of the slab… I guess we like it complicated. We built a gear anchor and walked down (there is a tree but its rotten).

We climbs a few variations of the slab which was not all that fascinating, but a good warm up. Damien led the 5.1 Unnamed Gully to get a feel for leading again.We moved the top rope to the next wall by climbing up a short 5.3 to a large tree where we set up the rope. From here we had access to three fun routes. Unnamed Flare Crack 5.8 is usually climbed at a V0 boulder. It is more like a modern 5.10 a-b with polished foot smearing and bumping hand movements on a  a lieback diagonal crack. We then moved to the 5.7 Unnamed Crack which was a general study is good jamming technique. This was my favorite. The final Unnamed Crack 5.9 featured a horrendous start to a stiff lieback.

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