June 2. Valera turned back from his journey to the Yosemite Valley. The long story about ascents and strange structure of rocks and naturally the amusement by the mirical Yosemite valley. Wild beautiful place where he wants to back with his doughter and wife. "You could see that!"- said Valera to me and show the photo albums and pictures and posters with the Yosemite views. Really it is great fantastic place!
- 10-12 of May: East wall of "Washington Collomne"(about 500 meters). Solo. "The Prow" route. Quite steep wall. V.5,10a.A2. Two and a half day.
- 14-18 - very bad weather - dogs and cats. Heavy rains every day.
- 22-26 of May: El Capitan. The "Zodiak" route (750 meters). Solo. VI,5.11.A3+One day - rainy. But the wall is so steep that the rain could not approach the route. As a rule the hanging rope is far from climber up to 1-5 meters.
Face to face. El Capitan
It's already May, 28 on the calendar, 9 o'clock in the evening. The burning candle dully enlightens the tent and the situation makes you think of what is already done.
The hurt finger is still aching - the result of a 10 meters' fall on El-Cap. The mountain reminds of itself. El-Capitan. Or, as they call it El-Cap. I think it will be the bright point in the list of those walls and summits which I've already done.
It was my last night in this magic place Yosemite. Tomorrow by bus and then by train I'll go to San-Francisco where I was brought by plane 3 weeks ago. To the place from where my first "American" route started.
Having arrived to the US, by May, 8 I found myself in the national park "Yosemite": the kingdom of rivers and waterfalls, centenary pines and green grass, the kingdom of majestic vertical walls.
I stopped at one of the famous places in the Park: "Satr 4" as it usually called. It's an encampment where live alpinists and climbers from every corner of the globe. But I won't stay long here. I have rich plans, but I haven't much time.
The main point of my visit is a solo climb on a difficult wall of El-Capitan and it will take a lot of time and strength.
I plan my first "test-ascent" solo (if it is possible to call so a route of 6 category) on May, 10. For it I have chosen the most beautiful tower: "Washington Collomne" on the eastern wall. The route is called "The Prow". It is a 500 meters' wall mainly with the parts of the 6 category. Here it is considered as V, 5.10а, А2. A steep wall. The middle part is a vertical slope without any shelf to rest on. There are two of them on the wall. I don't take a platform with me for this ascent, so I must manage to climb from one shelf to the other in daytime lest there should be no place to spend the night on.
One of the characteristic features of climbing on big walls in Yosemite is the absence of water on the routes. This circumstance adds one more necessity to the ascent: you must take a certain store of water on the wall. As a rule it is 2,5-3,0 litres for a man daily.
I'm going to do this wall in two days so I take only 4 litres. The rest I complete with compote. So it will be quite enough. I plan to start moving on the route early while it is not very hot and it will give me more time. I come to the route, ..., there is a sheaf of a Canadian and an American, they only start their climbing. There is no choice, I have to wait. I lose my time... I only hope that the sheaf is strong and they will go fast. But they don't seem to be in a hurry. Slowly, without fuss they go up rope by rope. I follow them with the at their snail's pace, deprived an opportunity to increase it. It seems to me that I'll go at that pace until the very summit. By the end of the second day on the wall they gave in: - Sorry, Valera, we see that we restrain you, so tomorrow you go first. We'll be behind you.
There left only 4 ropes of difficult climbing to the summit. I was there by noon. It took me a bit more than two days to climb this interesting route.
The majestic wall of El-Capitan was waiting for me. I plan to rest for 4 days and then to go on the route on El-Cap solo on May 17. What will it be?-I don't know yet. Something long and difficult - I still have some time. But... Again the weather interferes in my plans, foul it's better to say. It rains heavily almost for a week. Bad thoughts come to my mind: what if it will rain for two weeks, it is possible in the mountains.
It clears up only on May 18. Without spending my time I plan to go to the wall, to prepare the route and to stay for the night there. On May, 19 the weather is just splendid. "Well, at last!" I have chosen a long route of 6 category on the first part of El-Capitan: "Dihedreal corner". I managed to hang up two ropes in a day. I want to start tomorrow. Next day I did 3 more ropes. But by evening the weather spoils and I start doubting that I will confine myself in the schedule of the ascent: I'm to be in San-Francisco by May, 29. The next morning it starts drizzling. The weather is against me. After long thinking I decide to descent. I have very little time for ascents. It is necessary to make a quick decision: what route to climb? I have an extra variant: a very steep, but shorter route "Zodiac" (VI, 5.10a, A3+). I decide to climb it. At the same day I go to the part of the wall where it starts.
On May, 22 at 8.00 a.m. I'm gaining vertical meters on the overhanging wall of El-Capitan. It took them the same time as me to climb the route, but they worked in pair. While being on the route we managed to get to know each other. Nice guys. We take photos on the summit and descend. So my time in this wonderful place, Yosemite, ends. And there are two more walls, which I did solo in my list. No, it's not just two more subjugated walls. It's two more parts of my life, where I managed to test myself, to overcome my fear and laziness, to prove and to believe in the strength of human nature.