Longest and scariest slab multipitch I've ever climbed
Having just said that it was long and scary I must also say it was really unique and amazing having shared this experience with Tony. We approach from Porcupine creek after arriving at the trail at 11:30pm on Tioga Pass opening day. We hiked in the dark through some snow patches and creek crossings with snow. Fortunately there were snow prints and amazingly we made it about half way and stop at 2am to sleep. Started hiking next day around 9am and didn't make it to the base until 11:30 (manzanita trees are crazy but not as bad as I expected). After the manzanitas ended we walked to the edge of the slabs to a crack and found a rapping station that we used to lower to the left of the climb start (after rapping go right and you'll find the start after descending one more little slab). Tony linked p1-2 (IMO the crux was p2). The granite was very slippery (perhaps too many people climbing it have made for slick rock). We swapped leads all the way to the top passing through endless slab; sketchy traverses and scary runouts. I agree that P2 is more difficult than P8. All in all this route took all I had fortunately w/o whippers or falls of any kind. Two tumbs up to whoever links Royal Arches to Crest Jewel. (I probably could never do it). It was exhausting just climbing Crest Jewel. We topped out at 4pm and chilled a bit at the top; started our descent back to the car; Nedless to say I was exhausted by the time we got to the car after and epic day!
Linked it up with Royal Arches and then hiked out to Porcupine Flat. Badass slab that gets seemingly easier as you get towards the top; the 5.10 second pitch seems alot harder than the 5.10 8th pitch. Some bolts are runout but not anything like Tuolumne chit brick festivals.
I took a couple of rides on the second pitch, one slide and one downhill pendulum-sprint (stayed on my feet for that one), having linked the first and second made for plenty of rope stretch to add to the significant distance-from-the-last-bolt on each one . . . wish I'd used my eyes & head, taken my time etc. Still, hopped back on, finished that pitch and pulled off my next two easier-but-more-runout-with-scarier-fall-potential pitches with no probs. Next time I'll wear tighter shoes & use my head.
Funny how i stared at the topo on every pitch except the 7th, yeah the one with old bolts leading to nowhere out right. after two 30 ft runouts and finding no anchors, I downclimbed part way then bailed. Tunnel vision up there is no good. So close to the summit we ended up bailing after a couple other mishaps during the approach and climb. Best slab climb ever, I will be back to finish someday. If its 10a, maybe on hte second pitch, but once you get into a rythem everything just feels the same. SOme of that rock is really slippery.