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Winter in California! - Mayan Smith-Gobat

Winter in California! - Mayan Smith-Gobat
Winter in California! - Mayan Smith-Gobat
December 21, 2011 - 

After five weeks in New Zealand, it felt like high time to leave... The weather had changed to a nasty Easterly flow. Low-lying cloud rolls in off the sea, leaving Christchurch damp and miserable. "The Cave" is worst of all - It is the one place left to climb, and faces due east, therefore immediately becoming a nasty spooge bowl! A week before I left I came very close to climbing one of the few climbs which I have not climbed in the Cave, but the Easterly made a send impossible. A little frustrating, yet it made leaving NZ easy...


A week ago I found myself back on a plane, headed to San Francisco! I went from a wet miserable NZ summer to a sunny perfect winter in California - Although long distance flying is one of my least favorite things, the freedom it provides is pretty amazing! I spent a few days hanging out with a friend in San Fran, and finally summoned up the courage to join the locals at Jail House. Which ended up being a pleasant surprise, not at the dirty steep cave, full of desperate slopers and crazy knee-bars that I expected! Well, ok... there were plenty of crazy knee-bars. I have never seen so many pads in one place, nor experienced gluing and taping techniques used there. I thought I knew about knee-bars - But that place definitely takes knee-barring to a new level!

The climbing was really fun. I had a great couple days sampling several of the crag classics and re-learning to climb a little more dynamic. However after a couple of days, it was time to move on... Over the Tioga Pass, to Bishop - It was a pleasant surprise to find that the pass was still open. Apparently it is the first time it has been open this long since the 70's! Now I am bouldering at the Buttermilks, enjoying the beauty and vast openness of the desert. It is pure joy to be here, playing on boulders and let my mind roam free...


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