The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and a great excuse for linking up multiple activities with the longstanding daylight hours.
With word from the mechanic that our Suby would be up and running by late afternoon, I hoped on my bike for a few mile ride through the vibrant Valley to take advantage of the day,
and went to see the Captain.
I got a few cool glimpses of climbers high on the wall,
and made my way to the base of the Nose.
As I hiked up the access trail I came across a really cool looking salamander,
and was lucky enough to link up with Eric, Natalie, and Rogerio for a little climbing. Here Eric helps Rogerio work through the crux of a 5.10d while Natalie gives him a belay.
We kicked it at the base of the Nose for a while, taking in the views, climbing the short but super fun classic 5.7 known as Pine Line (highly recommended, even for those with a novice skill set), and working some of the stiffer routes located just right of Pine Line. While cragging an Italian crew showed up to start setting up ropes for their planned one day assault on the full Nose route the following day.
After the climbing session a quick dip in the river followed with another gorgeous bike through the Valley…to our finally fixed vehicle. Note, if you ever have to deal with breaking down in Yosemite, yeah it’s not ideal, but the garage there is a huge bonus. Just try, if you can, to deal with one of the regular mechanics and not the main dude who answers the phone. For whatever reason, this guy doesn’t get that he could be a lot cooler, which the rest of the mechanics thankfully do seem to get. And yeah, the work might be taxed a bit, but things could be a lot worse than being forced to have fun in a fully going off Yosemite while your car gets fixed.
With several hours of daylight left Jillian and I hoped, at best, we might be able to catch some turns on the refreeze before we missed our Summer Solstice window to ski, but we also forgot about the slow-going traffic in the Valley that is akin to driving through Tahoe City on Memorial Day Weekend.
With patience, however, we did manage to get on our way back to Tahoe, and were treated to the waning rays of the sun vibrantly illuminating the many unreal landscapes throughout Tuolumne.
There was no deep refreeze happening in Tuolumne on the Solstice, even close to sunset, but the mushy snow was firm enough to allow a few fun turns to round out the day. In reality, once again, the scenery was good enough to call the whole adventure good, add a few more ideas to the list for explorative skiing in the Park, and especially to gape one last time before coming back to Tahoe fired up to get back down to there as soon as possible.