4 reasons to attend a Girls on Granite weekend in Yosemite

 

This past weekend, four of us gals joined the Girls on Granite women’s rock climbing workshop in Yosemite. Here are four reasons you should consider signing up for this workshop.

 

1. Learn the outdoor climbing skills you’ve wanted to acquire.

During the two-day workshop, our awesome Yosemite Mountaineering School guides Hope and Lyra helped us gain the important outdoor climbing skills that we could never master in the gym. They taught us the essentials of climbing on granite and in cracks, and offered awesome tips on foot position, hand jams, and body weight shifts. They also did a great job of teaching us the specific skills we wanted to learn – which, for us, meant building anchors and placing gear for trad climbing.

 

2. Gain a sense of place

Rock climbing is a relatively young sport, and a significant portion of its history is based in Yosemite. The guides passed on the stories behind the names of areas in the park – Manure Pile Buttress, for example, was once a very descriptive term for the crag just east of El Capitan – and shared tales about climbers coming together to preserve Camp 4, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its role in the development of the sport. (For more on the history of climbing in Yosemite, Hope recommended ‘Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber.’)

3. Have a pre-climbing soy latte and a post-climbing shower

The Girls on Granite package includes a two-night stay in Curry Village. Once we got over any illusions of a rustic weekend, we were happy to indulge in Curry Village’s amenities. We discovered that the Curry Village Coffee Corner brewed the best soy lattes, ever. And after a day of climbing, Curry Village’s bathhouse, complete with hot showers and towel service, were the perfect antidote for our sunscreen-sprayed, DEET-smeared bodies.

 

4. Girl time!

The only thing that could rival Sister Adventures are adventures with a sister, our friends, and new friends, all of whom are as passionate about climbing as we are.

Ice skating, peanut butter, warm fires

 

On Sunday, Heather and I went ice skating in Yosemite National Park, partaking in the only winter sport possible this snowless winter.

And what a winter treat it was!

We arrived around noon to the Curry Village ice skating rink, and glided around the rink for about an hour, taking in glimpses of Half Dome and the park’s other awe-inspiring granite faces with each lap.

We considered eating our lunch with groups of families, who crowded around the rink-side campfire to roast s’mores, made from pre-packaged kits sold in the rink gift shop. (Awesome.)

Instead, we ate our peanut butter and banana/almond butter and pomegranate jelly sandwiches by the historic Ahwahnee Hotel’s magnificent fire places.

Something about the pure, child-like joy I experienced while skating, coupled with a warm fire and my favorite food, made me think about life – and adventure. Do we work hard so we can enjoy the calm/exhilaration of adventure? Or could we be fulfilled by adventure along?

Part of the adventure of life, I guess, is learning to balance these passions.