Sometimes at the end of the rainbow is a phoenix...
Nose in a day - it finally happened! I'm completely wrecked, it's totally next level. The Nose really is the best rock climb in the world.
Clockwise from left: afternoon clouds coming in to bring some Patagonia-style conditions to the upper pitches; Mr. Guy lowering out on the pitch before the Great Roof; oh god, there's still a long way to go; and the sunrise over Half Dome on the descent.
The deets... 22 hours and 30 minutes start to tree. It's a semi-onsight (neither of us had been past Dolt before), and we had to pass 5 parties which really burned up a bunch of time :( Can't wait to go back, actually free some of those upper pitches, and go faster! Ahhhh!! More climbing!!! Also! This was my first time climbing with Jonathan.. what a first climb! I'd like to thank him for his flexibility to last minute plans, the endless psych, and some real fast cam jugging.
Another weekend staring upwards in Yosemite. In this photo you can see the crux of (from right to left) Mary's Tears 11b, (almost) The Crucifix 12b, Gravity Ceiling 13a, and Northeast Buttress 5.9+. Two of those routes down, two more to go!
John Joline was one of the seminal people who taught me how to find joy in the vertical world. One time, lowering off one of those innumerable climbs at Rumney, he casually said to me, "Thomas, if you put some time into this, you could be pretty good." I've never lost the motivation that comment gave my little 19-year-old self.
He passed away a year or two ago, and I never got a chance to show John, look, look, I did it! I never got a chance to say thanks. In a way, it's one of the biggest regrets of my life.. it makes me cry every time I think about it.
Moonlight Buttress may be the best climb I've done in my life.
It's so, so nice to be back in Yosemite again!
Kampala or island resort? 🤔
A month ago in Yosemite. I miss climbing so much.
It's been an intense few weeks in Rwibaale as we enrolled 2,600 people for primary care and get ready to collect their healthcare interactions at the clinic starting on March 1st. 16 hour days get a little crazy, so last weekend, we took a 24-hour break to nearby Fort Portal.
The town sits on the western edge of the Great Rift Valley, craters and old volcanos dotting the landscape. The Rwenzori Mountains, standing 5,109m tall, loom over this tranquil, colonial outpost. These days, it's one of those off-the-beaten-path tourist towns where you can get a teeny bit closer to the local way of life and a window into the otherworldly beauty of East Africa -- without unsightly herds of mzungu wandering in safari jackets.
After a few cold morning showers yielded to a grey, overcast sky, I can't help but be reminded of San Francisco in winter -- a beautiful landscape, yet brooding, melancholic, and emotionally withdrawn. There may be no Sightglass nor Dogpatch Boulders here - heck, didn't even manage to find a good trail run! - but the omnipresence of the Rwenzoris reawakened a hunger within me... over and over I found my eyes drawn to the ragged ridgelines, dreaming of the spires within the clouds.
For now, back to work.
The winter sun sets at a sharper angle against Half Dome.
Immense, heartfelt gratitude to be back in Yosemite this past weekend, in between African sojourns, to witness a valley completely plastered with snow, ice, and inversion layers. Such a sight I have never seen before, and even after what must be over a hundred trips to Yosemite, I'm speechless, once again, at the beauty of this place.
The climbing at Cookie was pleasantly warm, and managed to finally redpoint Red Zinger 11d, too! 🌈
The complexity of aeroplanes and airports captivate me.. and both the A380 and DXB are marvels of engineering. After all the years of flying, I'm still as giddy as a little boy before boarding a big plane for a long flight. Eeeeee!!!!