Big Walls Forum

Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: Paulhauser on January 15, 2010, 11:41:53 am

Title: The Valley in April
Post by: Paulhauser on January 15, 2010, 11:41:53 am
Dear All,

I got the news today that I probably will be visiting the SF area for a business meeting from 17-20 of April. This will also be my first visit to the US, by the way. The opportunity is tantalizing: to get a few extra days and do a wall in the valley.

Before I really start planning , please let me know what to expect regarding  weather and climbing conditions in Yosemite (El Cap ) by that time of the year.  I can either come a week earlier to the meeting or leave a week after that. I pretty much have about a week, 8 days max either way.  Once I made my flight booking I can not change it, so what do you think? Should I forget it and use the time to do some sightseeing? (not bad idea either as I have never been in the US before)
What chances do I have for some nice weather?

I don yet have a partner (but have someone in mind) and I really do not want to begin daydreaming about this until I got the confirmation about the trip and also will be asssured that by that time of the year I can get a fair chance to have decent weather.


Title: Re: The Valley in April
Post by: mungeclimber on January 15, 2010, 11:50:03 am
speculating on weather in the Valley in April is questionable, but it is Cali, and not Greenland. I say go for it. At the very worst, you visit the Valley become entralled like everyone else and make plans to really spend some time there next time. 

How are you free skills?  If you can knock out a big wall in two days, then rock on, just do it.  You'll have a blast either way.

me, two days isn't enough for a wall, but you can do some damn good climbing close to the ground too.

If it rains, you can still hike to some neat spots and or if you do the biz trip ahead of the valley visit, you can check weather once here on the 10 day forecast and rearrange what you see on the free days. 

Not that I'm biased, but Pinnacles can be really nice if the Sierra has precipitation.  Just sayin.

whatever you do, don't just make it a biz trip.
Title: Re: The Valley in April
Post by: Paulhauser on January 15, 2010, 12:21:53 pm
The biz meeting is a 4 day session, from the 17th to the 20th. I can make about one week plus on either end, before or after. So my total stay would be close to two weeks. Roughly one week for climbing, the other is to do the work + fly in and out.

My free skills are somewhat non-existent :-) I started to climb in '98, did a lot of long trand routes in the 5.10 level, then my interest switched to bigwalls. After partner and me got turned back twice from our first big wall in Norway in 2000, I finished university, started to work and did not climb till last year. The I started again, aiding a lot of small 1 pitch routes here, mostly by roped solo. I was working on hauling systems, tricks, etc, did a lot of big-wall exercises on these small cliffs as a preparation for something big, but could not find a partner last year to do something in Europe. Soloing my first bigwall is somewhat daunting, even if I have a lot of knowledge (or I want to believe) of the placements and the whole system, so in absence of a partner last year I finally did nothing big.

As this opportunity is coming to be able to visit the valley, it is hard to resist even if there are a lot of details to work out. Climbing bigwalls is really an ambition that stayed with me during all my non-climbing years, and I feel that if there is something in life that during all the life's changes stays with me, that dream I must fulfill. I was planning to go to Norway this summer when I feel ready, but this new opportunity is more tempting .-)
Title: Re: The Valley in April
Post by: Mike. on January 15, 2010, 02:48:38 pm
"What can I expect in YV in (insert month or time frame)?"

If I had a dollar... Same answer as for most of the year. Depends on the weather. It can be anything anytime of year from baking in t-shirts to snowing and cold. That's why I don't plan walls weeks in advance, or when I do it's always with a heavy contingency and plans B and C. How late can you make the before/after call?Waiting until a week beforehand would increase your chances of fair weather greatly. April-May can be fickle and rainy. Or not...

Paulhauser, I would just plan on going and deal with whatever. It's likely to be good, a tad on the cool side, and runoff/seepage in the usual spots.

West Face of Leaning Tower has to be the all-time bang-for-buck aid line in YV. I highly recommend you do it even if the weather is sketchy. The climb and descent is fine in all but the very worst conditions, and a little sketch in the forecast usually serves to keep the crowd away and no more. Once on the wall you won't get hit by precip unless it's windy.

There is overhanging cragging at Chapel Wall, but only a few routes there. Even bouldering around Camp 4 on questionable weather days is cool, and you can recon the hell out of the place.

If it looks definitely crappy head south to J-Tree, Tahquitz/Suicide or any of the other crags down south. Very often the jet stream is nailing central Cal and the Sierra while just a few hours south is climbable. Owens River Gorge a few hours southeast of YV is usually in the "weather shadow" if you like sport clipping.


Title: Re: The Valley in April
Post by: Paulhauser on January 16, 2010, 11:01:51 pm
Thanks for all the info. Let's see how this trip will turn out....