We had planned to climb one of Yosemite’s classic climbs, Royal Arches. But as the date approached, we found that the weather was not in our favor. With rain forecasted, we knew it would not be wise to be high on the cliffs with no where to retreat. It was a smart decision within a few days, three climbers died climbing on nearby rocks in two separate accidents in Yosemite. So instead of climbing our planned route with all its allusions to grandiose ideals, we headed over to the Manure Pile Buttress for a six pitch route that had good escape routes and belay stances in case we got caught in the rain. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and cancer is nothing more than a manure pile.
This climb was dedicated to 4 patients battling with kidney Cancer. Sara, Scott, George and Joy.
After finishing up our professional meetings around 5 pm, Dr. Lane, Dr. Weight and his son packed up and drove the 4 hours from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. We had to pitch our tents in the dark and be ready to climb at 7 am sharp.
We headed over to the Manure Pile Buttress for a 6 pitch ~ 700 foot climb. It feels great to be on the rock again, holding on for dear life!
When we climb, the symbolism between fighting cancer and climbing is always on our minds. Near the top almost 700 feet above the valley floor Dr. Lane came to understand on a more visceral level what Climb 4 Kidney Cancer is all about.
I had a terrifying moment near the top of our climb when the wind intensified its blowing against me, and my strength was failing, and I didn’t think I could take that next step. I felt like giving up.
Only then did I realize what climb4kc is all about. I realized that for Sara, Scott, George and Joy (and many others), challenges like these come far more regularly. With grace and faith and strength we can carry on. This was to me a great opportunity to walk hand-in-hand with you all, and I’m honored to have been able to do so.
Dr. Brian Lane
After a successful climb, we hurried down in a gathering rainstorm. We caught some lunch. Though climbing in the rain was out, we could still safely hike. We headed over and hiked up the misty trail along Vernal Falls and to Nevada Falls. It was a beautiful 9 mile round-trip hike.
We got back down from the hike around 7 pm. We had to drive to another campsite because Yosemite is crowded and we couldn’t string all our camping nights together. We again arrived after dark and set up our tents and ate in the light of the stars and our headlamps.
We woke, ready to climb again, so we headed to Swan Rock, near the famous Camp 4.
The climb/hike to North dome was beautiful. The forrest was shrouded in mist and wild flowers were everywhere.
We headed back to San Francisco the following morning to catch our flights back home. We are better for the experience and mindful of the stories of the patients we climbed for. We are powered by their faith and hope to beat kidney cancer in their own battles, and more determined than ever to continue to climb 4 a cure!