For our first foray into 5.10 climbing at Yosemite we climbed Crescent Arch and Cooke Book on Daff Dome in Toulumne. We actually bailed off of the beginning of Crescent Arch last year, so I was curious to see how it would go this time. We’ve been doing a lot of indoor climbing, but it didn’t really prepare me for either of these two climbs. They are both full of uncomfortable liebacks, half smear/half crack jams, and undercling slab. I’ve never done anything like any of that in the gym. We started on Crescent Arch and it was completely awkward at first, but it got better as I got more used to it. The ‘crux’ 5.10b move seemed a lot easier than other parts of the climb, and although that entire section looked really intimidating, it actually wasn’t that bad.
We moved on to Cooke Book after Crescent Arch. I had a bit of trouble with the roof on the first pitch because the rope kept getting caught in the corner of the roof even after I back cleaned a cam under the roof. You really need some long slings at the beginning to prevent that from happening. There were a couple sections that we pretty challenging, especially after getting a little worn out on Crescent.
Overall I thought these climbs were more painful than fun. The weird half crack and lieback climbing was just not enjoyable, and I was more relieved than satisfied when I finished them.