On Top of Fairview Dome With Bird
It was my first time in Tuolumne, and I want to return again and again. It's heaven to me, because even though the climbing is exceptional and plentiful and easily accessable, it's also just a small part of what that place offers. When I remember it now, I think of camping in cool mountain temps, snuggled into down bags and waking to frost on the windows of the van. I think of swimming in a cold, clear lake in the middle of the day when it's too hot to climb. I think of meeting good people with similar passions and goals. I remember feeling like we were doing exactly what we were supposed to be doing in the exactly the right place. I think of taking it easy and enjoying the time togehter, not feeling rushed to get more routes in, and even so, going to bed each night completely exhausted.
I spent a lot of time staring into the Sierra, the Range of Light, and thinking about how, while the Cascades may have given life to Gary Snyder's poetry, it was the Sierra that moved Snyder to settle and build a homebase, that continues to inspire him even now.
One after another, the granite peaks - domes, sharp aretes, ridges - filled the middle distance and beyond. The possibilities - link-ups, big runs, traverses, routes - grew in my mind as I racked my brain for a way to live there, just for a season, for a way to make the Sierra my home. Our home.