Gates of Delerium ~ Yosemite Climbing Photography

Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 12:25pm - Adventure

As I continue along my journey of scanning old images, coming across this next route was very special.  We had 2 very wild days shooting Gates of Delerium, which lies in the majestic Ribbon Falls Amphitheater.  We shot the first 10 pitches of this 19 pitch 5.12b/c, which are by far the most dramatic.  In fact many people will probably just climb the first 10 pitches without climbing the 5.9 ridge to the summit of the Valley.  We were up there in late December, so there was an ice cone at the bottom of Ribbon Falls visible in the shots from the 10th pitch, when we got out over the mind blowing fin that makes up the left hand side of the dihedral we had been in for the first 9 pitches.

The light in December is truly special in Yosemite, especially on west facing aspects, but it goes down early, like around 4:30.  We wanted to shoot the highest pitch, the 10th, in the warm glow of setting sun, but we also really wanted to get as nice light as we could get on the 9th as well.  So we shot the 9th around 3:45, and before we knew it, the sun was going fast.  So in typical high speed fashion we raced up to the 10th pitch, which is slightly overhanging and kicks back over the entire first 9 pitches 1000 feet off the ground.  The sun was dropping fast and as I hung there at the lip of the overhang trying desperately to not drop film as I changed rolls, I remembered this is why I live.  We got our shots with only seconds left and after many hours of rappelling down in the dark, we walked back to the car smiling from ear to ear feeling like kings who had this whole majestic valley to ourselves.



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"One Day" written and recorded by Shawn Reeder is available as royalty free music downloads at Shawn Reeder Music.com.

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