The bouldering in Yosemite Valley is scattered throughout a handful of areas, all of which bring different gradings. Camp Four was intense, with our entire crew getting shut down on a V0 – and these are boys that climb up to V9s. The Housekeeping boulders were moderately graded, with a few that seemed slightly underrated, but the best area for agreeable route ratings was easily the Ahwahnee Boulder crag.
The climbing sat across the street from the ritzy Ahwahnee Lodge, where fancy folk sought expensive lodging in a rustic, yet clearly high-class setting. I went to the bathroom in the lodge once, and almost laughed out loud from the perplexed looks shot my way as I paraded my dirty, smelly, sweaty self past throngs of middle-aged people totting decorative walking sticks and wearing pristine North Face jackets.
Ahwahnee Boulders held my favorite route of the trip: Beached Whale, a flowing V5 climb with a vicious top out. It was my main focus during our time spent at Yosemite, and I could kick myself for not sending the route when I had the chance. On our last day in the park, I hopped on the route and miraculously made it all the way to the finish, with half of my body beached on top of the boulder. I wasted two entire minutes trying to flop myself over the ledge of the boulder before my arms gave out and I had to wave a white flag.
Beached Whale was interesting not only for the quality climb, but also for its funky location. The boulder sat tucked away in a breezy corridor, where the temperature instantly dropped about ten degrees. The air was cooled by an enormous waterfall that slid down a rock face far off in the distance.
The other climbs in the area were fun and had beautiful lines. Niko found his favorite V3 of all time, which I feebly attempted to climb – as you’ll see in the first picture below. Juan also had a mighty fine time on one of the boulders (middle photo below), and of course, I threw in a couple’s shot just because it’s such a rarity to get Niko to cooperate for one.