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YO 2-10, 10 Off Widths in 2 Days in Yosemite National Park

YO 2-10, 10 Off Widths in 2 Days in Yosemite National Park

YO 2-10, 10 Off Widths in 2 Days in Yosemite National Park

Over the past few years, I have gotten a itch to “play” in special kinds of cracks called Off Widths (OW's). They are wide cracks that habitually swallow body parts and force upon some great climbers, a type of awkward creativity.  Mostly because these cracks are greater than 4” and call for more than your average and/or typical routine climbing moves.  Some people love them and some people fear them.  I personally, fell deeply in love with the challenge and the slightly ungraceful yet strangely rewarding style.  I guess it’s the suffer fest that I enjoy, or perhaps it's just the fact that I'm not right in the head.

About six months ago when I decided to come to Yosemite, I thought it would be a good challenge to do a few OWs.  Then my thoughts kind of turned into, “Well, let's see how many I can do in one day.” After getting into a discussion on www.widefetish.com, and asking other fellow OW junkies their thoughts, my list grew longer and longer.  And with so many OWs in Yosemite, I had to extend the circuit into 2 days.  Hence forth, I dubbed the circuit YO 2-10: YOsemite- 2 days- 10 OWs. 

I told Vanessa Alamanza, a fellow up and coming OW junkie, ex NA staffer, and dear friend, about my idea.  Not only did she offer amazing support, but was so thrilled by the idea that she quickly became fully on board.  Unfortunately, being that she lives in SLC, we had to train separately. For me, I spent my time working moves at local crags, training my cardio, conquering hundreds of sit ups a day in order to gain strength in my core, and then I felt ready to do my YO210. 

After I finished the Regular NW face of Half Dome with Jimmy Fair, I only had one day of rest before my circuit.  With V and Jimmy not spending much time together, they decided to do some OWs together and there, I found myself finding a partner in Camp 4 who was interested in the YO also.  Della was soon on board for the suffer fest that was about to take place. 


First on the list was to spend the day at Reed’s Pinnacle.  We started on Reed’s Left, a great 5.10a, two pitch climb of sun kissed OWs.  After looking at the TOPO, I saw that if you go through this tunnel at the top of Reed’s Left, you can walk this walk to an awesome 10a left leaning OW.  It was a unknown route, but a route I will surely return to.  As the day got hotter, (91 degrees)  Della and I rapped down get out the sun and fetch some food and water.  After a short rest, we tried to look for Chincando, a fun classic 10a OW.  Thinking I found it, I racked up and squeezed up in there.  After 50 feet I realized it was not a 10a but in fact, way easier.  Bummed it was not the climb I set out for, I stood up top extremely curious as to where it actually was.  As we rapped off, I glanced toward the other side of the column and there’s where I first laid my eyes on  the beautiful climb, Chincando.  With the day being late and my body starting to hurt, I decided to call it and pick back up on day 2 of the YO.  For the 5th climb of the day I headed to meet Jimmy and V at Generator Crack, a riverfront crack that spits people out everyday.  I have been on it in the past and happy to say, that we have made peace with each other.  After flying up with style and speed, the day had closed in and I could finally relax and enjoy a beer.   

Just a little scratch

As the sun started to appear through the tent, my body was not saying, “ let’s go climb an OW.” Sore, aching, and determined, we set out to Camp 4 Wall to knock off some OWs on the list there.  As I arrived at Doggie Diversions, a mellow 90 foot 5.9 OW, I grabbed my shoes and chalk bag and decided to free solo it.  Halfway up Della looked up and asked, “what you doing?”   I said, “ I feel like soloing.”  As I reached the top and walked down, I looked up and she was doing the same after me.  The motivation was high and the energy was kicking through my body.  20 feet to the left was Doggie Do, a 60 foot 10a OW .  As Della was on her free solo, I started my 7th climb up Doggie Do.  Feeling solid, I got to the crux, looked at what I needed to do and set out for it.  Two moves up I felt and heard this POP-POP-POP in my right shoulder.  It made my arm feel weak and I soon became not super psyched to be in that spot.  I down climbed and rested in a comfy pod grabbing my shoulder and knew something was not right.  I knew I wanted to finish it, so I set up it again.  I reached up and recognized I had absolutely zero strength in my arm.  A little worried , as I was 50 feet up with no rope.  At this point, I knew I had to down climb the 50 feet with a painfully achy shoulder.  Safely on the ground, I knew something was wrong and the thought of completing my YO210 was fading away.  I arrived back in Camp 4 and spoke to a fellow climber and M.D.  He looked at my shoulder and discovered my bicep tendon had popped out of place as he was moving it from the top of my shoulder to under my arm pit.  Having a doc in Camp 4 comes in handy sometimes I suppose, since he then said he could manually put it back into place. With a few JERKING movements of my arm, he set the tendon back into place, but insisted I be done climbing for a few days, allowing it to rest. 

After all said and done this is all i get!


As athletes, we all flirt with pride and somehow understand that the thoughts of not being able to complete our goals, often times hurt more than our injuries themselves.  I know I had some bigger plans for the rest of my stay in Yosemite, but for me, resting and respecting your body takes precedence.  So for now and until I can complete my YO, I will call it the YO26.5

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