So we are finally at the end of our trip and have had an amazing time. It’s also been amazing to have the support of so many of you to achieve this dream and I hope that the blog has been of interest. It’s been fun sharing it with you! Next stop – home and back to the realities of life and work! What an amazing journey it has been and a wonderful dream realised – something we will remember for the rest of our days! Thanks again to you all and hopefully see some of you very soon to bore the pants off you with all the details! X
So we finally felt able to put the rock boots back on and took a trip up to Tuolomne to go and have a look at the beautiful domes up there! Managed a little bimble up Lembert Dome – nice to be back in action although not feeling up to anything major! Loads of snow up there still so quite a bit chillier. Finished off with a lie by the pool so all very civilised
After a day of complete rest we ventured up the road to Glacier Point to get a good view of Half Dome and get an overall perspective of what exactly we had done! The sight of that face took us both aback and made us feel proud of ourselves for the climb. When we set off we took the advice of Arth (a good friend of Kaz’s) who said “Don’t think about the whole thing, take it one pitch at a time. On pitch 1 only think about pitch 1 and so on.” What sound advice and it worked – so much so that we lost sight of the whole – that is until today when we saw the vast north face again! Wow!
An ode by Marky Mark
They had climbed a-plenty but needed ‘Big Walled’
Yosemite, California; Half Dome called…
‘Give us portaledges, cracks and bleeding hands’
‘We want to climb hard all day, and poo in bags’
They trained, and practised, hopeful of success
Then tied everything on so they wouldn’t get in a mess
The climb of a lifetime, but pushed to the edge
Exhausted, they finally reach ‘Thank God Ledge’
They climbed for days, not hours,
And even in the dark,
And finally they succeeded,
They’d made their mark
After a good day’s rest yesterday and a wonderful surf ‘n’turf dinner we are both feeling less stiff and achey although finding new bits to hurt! Kaz finally felt well enough to crack open the champers by the spa pool and we celebrated our achievement! It’s finally sinking in that we have actually done what we set out to do and achieved our dream! We spent a load of time writing up the experience yesterday and have completed days 2 and 3 for your enjoyment as separate pages!
So here we are after a good wash, laundry done and jumars put away…..for ever? Many thanks to George for keeping you all posted whilst we were having fun on the rock! So after the elation of yesterday here we are the day after reflecting on our experiences and trying to make some sense of our memories to share with you all. You can see Day 1 on the page of that name and we will get the rest done over the next few days whilst we recuperate! So how are we feeling now – well – toes sore from bashing the rock on jumars, feet stiff from 9 mile walk down, calves stiff, knees puffy, thighs bruised from chimney climbing, stomach -Kaz’s dodgy!, hips sore from carrying gear and hanging on belays for hours, back stiff, shoulders very sore, arms stiff heavy and bruised, hands swollen, stiff and cut to pieces, neck stiff from looking up all the time, face windblown and sunburnt, head very happy! Was it worth it? Absolutely – but perhaps we’ll not repeat it for a while! Enjoying the comforts of “normal” life today! Thanks to everyone for all the supportive comments as that has meant a lot to us and kept us going – after all what on earth would we have had to tell you about if we hadn’t completed it! Day 2 to follow shortly!
Kaz and Ali are now back at their Hotel safe and sound, they are fed watered and have had their spa bath, so are considerably cleaner. Not content with the praise from their guides for the skills they showed in climbing Half Dome, they then completed the 9 mile hike from the top of Half Dome to the car in a mere three hours.
Both were looking forward to big pillows and something a little more comfortable than a two foot rock ledge to sleep on.
Well here we are sitting on big sandy ledge at the top of pitch 17, our bedroom for the night! Amazing views. Fab weather. Managed some climbing but the rest of it aiding. Still an unbelievable experience and a once in a lifetime shot.
Ali’s hands are trashed but she is feeling good. The girls should top out tomorrow as they have six pitches left to climb, including the famous Thank God ledge…
Big sandy ledges where Kaz and Ali are spending their second night on the face. “Cosy”?