In search of Peace / by Mayan Smith-Gobat

I can't think of anywhere better for finding inner peace than Tuolumne Meadows... The landscape is stunning, vast and free. I have spend the last few weeks running around the classic peaks in the area and a few days down in Yosemite Valley... As always, I found a difficult challenge to aid my search for inner peace... Trying to string together the endless, vertical maze of knobs and find the balance of power and technique to stay in contact with this vertical path, on one of the most striking walls in Tuolumne - Medlicott Dome. Peace 5.13d, runs up a faint black streak on this blank, dead vertical orange wall... Right next to the infamous Bachar/Yerian route.

I spent several days working out and piecing together the moves of this epic 40m route. Then had the pleasure of finding my moment of peace while out at the dome with two locals, Katie and Ron (who did the first ascent of this route). It was the last try I would get that day, because of thin skin and fast the approaching blazing heat of the sun... I was far from confident of achieving success on that attempt, yet decided to give it one last attempt. It was possibly this attitude which let me achieve that state of inner peace and determined relaxation, which enabled me to successfully pull through the crux moves and then keep my cool and float through the never ending and precarious minefield of tiny knobs that eventually lead to a final powerful deadpoint near the top of the route. It was a wonderful feeling to reach the top of this route, especially when I least expected it...

However, unfortunately these momentary feelings of Peace do not last long, before I am once again searching, testing myself and attempting to find what truth lies hidden deep within me. Pushing myself hard and challenging my determination against the largest and most immovable objects I can find... Attempting to decipher pathways up the faces of these stone giants somehow gives me insight into myself and provides me with a wonderful sense of freedom. Yesterday I a great day climbing Half Dome and tomorrow I will head back up to visit my old friend the Salathe once more...