Climbed the South Face of Mt. Watkins with Nick. Definitely the toughest climb I've ever done. Spent two nights on the wall. 19 pitches, heinous approach and descent, got a quick sierra storm, and took some nice falls.
First ascent by Warren Harding, Yvon Chouinard, and Chuck Pratt over 5 days in 1964. They took 1.5 L/person/day. We took about 1.2 Gallons/person/day... and we were THIRSTY. Warren Harding was also superhuman.
Many prominent roofs, ledges, and crack systems aren't marked on the topo, but we always thought, "what would the first ascent party do here" and after a climbing for a few minutes, we'd usually find a bolt or some other indicator that we were on route... adventure climbing at it's best.
To hear about the first ascent, read Chuck Pratt's account here.
Carpooled with Funk and his friend up to Kelly's folk's place in Groveland, to organize gear, talk strategy, and sleep for 3 hours.
We started up Tenaya Canyon around 5:30. Here we are passing Mirror Lake. Already getting warm. Forecast was calling for mid to high 90s in the park all weekend.
Past the Snow Creek Falls trail, we started bushwacking to get to the base of Mt. Watkins.
Crossed the creek a few times...
And finally we got a nice view of our climb. The climb goes just to the right of the shade.
Fern forest. Once we got closer to the base of the climb, we pumped water from Tenaya Creek.
Using the awesome-est filter given to me by my awesome lady on our anniversary. We pumped close to 5 gallons of water in no time. I stood behind nick waving my shirt around to keep the mosquitos off of us... this is the new MSR filter btw...
Now the "pig" (i.e. Haul Bag) weighs a full 40 lbs more. And we continued on our "approach".
Looking across Tenaya Canyon at Quarter Domes.
After a 5.6 pitch, a 5.8 pitch, and two fourth class pitches (the hauling sucked...) we got to the bivy site at the base. (There was another haul bag here... mysterious...see it hanging behind Nick?)