Snow snow snow

This has been a strange year for snow. When we moved in, at the beginning of April, Hans said that having snow on the porch was highly unusual for that time of year. Now, it's May, and the snow is still falling. It's incredible – incredibly beautiful, and incredibly frustrating. This was not the view that we expected for the beginning of April in Yosemite Still, we're getting out some.

Last Thursday, there were enough of us that were totally stir-crazy, that we decided to brave the weather and head out for some climbing. The scariest bit of the day was getting up the street in front of our house. It had been spitting snow and ice, and our two-wheel drive Escort, piloted by Tom, could barely make any uphill progress. The car slipped and lurched along, and Yuji made a quick grab for the seat-belt, while Tom tried to convince him that Vermonters drive in these conditions all the time. Of course, everything was dripping wet in the Valley, but we did manage to get some bouldering in. This is a picture of our housemate, Yuji, with Tom and Bob spotting – proof. I guess you can't really see the rain drops in the picture, but it was dripping constantly off the boulder and the trees above, and here's a picture of us on the hike out.

That evening, Bob pulled out his game of Jenga. It's a tower of wooden blocks, and the game is that each person takes a turn pulling out one of the blocks and carefully putting it on the top of the tower. The person to knock the ever more wobbly tower over loses. The thing about this game is that the tower seems ridiculously unstable after about the first round, and yet people keep pulling blocks out of the middle of the thing. Tom swore at least 4 times after successfully pulling one of the blocks out, that it would never make it through another round back to him, and yet it did – round, after round, after round. This is a picture of Pete trying not to laugh, with Yuji looking on.