Yosemite Valley, Mama, Flying in the Mountains, Homeworld. On January 9 I experienced the most crushing and empowering day of my life, sitting by my mother’s side as she took her last breaths. One of the last things she said to me as we held each other was, “Don’t worry, my son, I’ll always be with you, flying in the mountains, flying in the mountains, yeah (with a big smile) flying.” She was so into my climbing. So much of my love for nature comes directly from her. I always wished she could be with me on so many of my adventures, but the laws of nature didn’t allow for that. But these days, with every move I make, and her words echoing in my head, all I have to do is think of her and it’s like she’s riding on my back. She’s everywhere I go.
Anyway, we did a few routes in Yosemite with her in mind. In the Bridalveil Falls area, 150' right of Rattlesnake Buttress and 300' left of Yellow Corner, Jake Jones and I established a new free route called Mama (IV 5.12c), seven pitches and 1,000' high. Wild, steep climbing, like a Thailand route, but trad. Pro from #0 TCU to #6 Friend. Rappel the route.
At Parkline Slab, 300' right of the Cockshead, Robbie Bouchard and I put up a seven- pitch route, 1,000' long, called Flying in the Mountains (IV 5.11a). One hundred feet right of that we established Homeworld (IV 5.10c), nine pitches, also 1,000' long. Both Parkline routes require a set of stoppers and one each from #0 TCU to #3 Camalot; they meet at the last anchor. At Parkline, I led all of both routes, but Robbie freed all the moves on second and worked his butt off. The recommended rap route is Homeworld, which can be descended with a single 60m rope.
Detailed topos should be in Don Reid’s new, 2006 book, Yosemite Free Climbs. See you in the mountains!