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August 17, 2006

Tahoe Escape

Rich and Sophia, cevans, Peter and I went up to South Lake Tahoe last weekend for some climbing and camping fun to end the summer on a happy last note. On Saturday we climbed an amazing 3 pitch 5.7 at Lover's Leap called Corrugation Corner. My shoes were killing me after the first pitch. I'm not sure if they are just too tight or are somehow awkwardly jamming my big toes, but I couldn't even bend my left toe or apply pressure to it from any direction on pitch two, which made climbing awkward (even as I write this, over a week later, I still can't bend my toe completely). So that kind of tainted what would have otherwise been a perfect climb, but it was still a lot of fun. After we hiked down, we hit up a Mexican restaurant and ordered five orders of steak fajitas and beer for everyone. Fajitas have become the tradional post-climbing meal for me and my cohorts this summer, so ordering is easy. After food, we headed to the beach to watch the sunset, and then drove to our camp site. We saw three very bright shooting stars once we set up camp for the night. I don't think I've ever seen a shooting star before, but I guess that early August is the right season for viewing, so it wasn't that uncommon of an event for the others. We couldn't have planned out a better day if we tried.

We slept in on Sunday and then tackled a few pitches on the Phantom spires. Marius, another Google co-worker, managed to find us despite no real direction or meeting plans and joined us for our climbs. He just kind of appeared out of nowhere wearing a big straw hat and dominated all of the climbs we ended up doing. I couldn't even get on the rock of the 5.8 side of the Shark's Tooth. The first piece was just within my finger reach, but I wasn't able to get any kind of hold on it, so that was a pathetic failure. I did manage to get to the top from the 5.10a side (with some stops along the way), which is the highest ranked climb I've done indoors or out. On the way back to Mountain View, we pulled off at some random exit in Fairfield in search of food and ended up stopping at another typical Mexican restaurant and finishing off six (+1 for Marius) orders of Chicken fajitas and beer.

This was my last outdoor climbing excursion for the summer, which is terribly sad. I'll have to get good this coming semester and maybe learn how to lead indoors so when I come back, I'll be in shape to get back to the mountains.





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