Damien and I climbed Regular Route (5.5) last time we were in Yosemite last November. It had been kind of an Odyssey for us back then since we were out of practice on rock and new to the Valley. This year we redeemed ourselves. Sunshine Beach wall is located to the right of the Lower Falls. The Route begins about 100 feet up a third call gully at a god belay tree. I lead the first pitch this time around. Last year I was glad I hadn’t led it… and now here i was leading the pitch. At first glance in looks very easy, but there are many awkward moves with questionable feet. I’d say the biggest issue is the problem solving on the committing moves on tiny numbs of granite. The pitch is about 90 feet end ends at a nice belay tree.

Damien led the 2nd pitch. It pretty long angle and going right around a hump by the tree and out onto the exposed wall. There is are a few fun moves onto the ledge to a boulder problem moved leading to the next tree belay. Last year I had an issue getting up the unprotected boulder problem so I had gone around to the right on onto the unprotected but less reachy face. This time when i followed I got up the boulder problem with no issue using a slopper. I guess I’m stronger? I think this pitch was also about 90-100ft.

The third pitch was our nemesis last year. The 5.4 variation seemed way to exposed on unprotected (to the right), so Damien had lead up the 5.5 direct route. Some committing exposed moved and the whole ordeal of trying to get onto the 5.4 route psyched him out and I went up to finish the pitch lead. But I was terrified the whole time and it took forever. Thus year he flew up the pitch and when i followed I could not understand what my problem had been. This was supposed to be the final pitch, but we split it in two since there is horrible rope drag when the rope is extended the full 60 meters which is how long the pitch is. Damien and I switched leads just above the crux on the gear anchor. I followed the low angle cracks up to a big shady tree about 100feet up. We then opted to switch leads again and pitch out the low angle but exposed slabs to the true top of the ledge.

The climb is a walk off and we followed the climbers trail to the right along the forested ledge to a talus field above the valley where we descended to the trail following carins. This route proved our progress over the past year and was a big accomplishment for us. Our mental aptitudes have grown vastly since almost a year ago!

 

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