All posts tagged: El Capitan

Standing on the Shoulders: A Tribute to Royal Robbins

There’s a palpable energy within Yosemite Valley. One that has inspired past and present generations alike to seek adventure, exercise curiosity, and pursue self-discovery. Like many who have come before me, I have always felt a magnetic pull to this incredible place. The landscape’s unwavering indifference to those within it is strangely comforting. Perhaps it relieves the heavy burden of expectation weighting on our shoulders. Or perhaps the smell of pine needles and the sound of the bumbling river are simply soothing to the soul. While the granite walls are quiet and unresponsive, they are deeply saturated with the rich and ever evolving history of those drawn to this landscape. They line the Valley like a series of blank sheets, which, over time, have been etched with the artful stories of dreamers and creators. Each story builds upon the last and creates a foreword for future stories to come. Of all the personalities that have graced the walls of Yosemite, Royal Robbins left a particularly influential impact, forever changing the direction of climbing’s story. Robbins …

The NIAD

I was wide awake. The bandanna I had tied around my eyes to fool myself into sleeping was a lost cause. I peered out from underneath my bandanna only to find Adam peering back at me from underneath his. We gave up and went into the kitchen. The clock on the stove read 5:00 pm. We had been strategically going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier in preparation for our climb, but I guess going to sleep at 3:00 pm was a little too extreme for our bodies to accept. What should we do? Should we drive to the Valley and start climbing? Should we try to get some work done? Read? Eat? We wanted nothing more than to be well-rested for the climb. I Googled “foods that make you fall asleep” for inspiration. We had a snack, reviewed the topo one more time, and assumed the position – lying in bed with bandannas over our eyes. My phone whistled alive and I instantly snapped up from a light sleep and turned the alarm …

The Salathé Wall, El Capitan (VI 5.9 C2)

“Harding’s route up The Nose is the boldest line up El Capitan. In contrast, the Salathé Wall is the most devious – traversing, arcing, and even rappelling on its lower half. But the reason for the devious appearance is that the Salathé Wall follows the chief line of weakness on El Capitan. In the opinion of many top climbers, it is the greatest rock climbing route in the world.” – Galen Rowell   [Excerpts written by Royal Robbins regarding the first continuous ascent of the Salathé Wall as it appears in Galen Rowell’s book, Vertical World of Yosemite, 1974.] “As we started climbing early on October 10, the sky was clear and the temperature cool. There was as yet no sign of the forecasted rain. However, later in the morning, clouds, fragments and clumps of nimbo-stratus, began moving swiftly from the south and it looked as if the Weather Bureau, which had been unsuccessfully forecasting rain for several days, might finally be right. As the clouds scudded over our heads toward the north, Tom skillfully …

Eating Crickets and Climbing Bug — I mean, Big Walls

As the population of our world increases and the amount of space decreases, there seems to be a growing concern regarding sustainability. Movies, such as Food, Inc., and books, including Michael Pollen’s An Omnivore’s Dilemma, have increased awareness about the unsustainable practices of modern farming. Many people choose to lessen their impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. While some subsist on a vegetarian or vegan diet, others buy locally raised meats. And then there’s Meghan… Meghan Curry is a 29 year-old entomologist from Texas who eats bugs. That’s right – from Mealworm Pizza to Spinach Salad with Ant Larvae, this women isn’t afraid of a few extra legs. However, Meghan hasn’t always been a proponent of eating insects. After an academic debate about global nutrition and food sustainability turned her on to the idea, she has refocused her career from studying insects to promoting and educating the West about edible insects as a serious food source (also known as entomophagy). These new goals resulted in the birth of her LLC and website Bug Vivant. …

Soloing Zodiac

On May 3rd, Adam successfully topped out Zodiac – his first El Cap solo (and only second big wall solo). He was nice enough to share a bit about how it went and his motivation behind the climb. Rope soloing: climbing a route by yourself rather than with a climbing partner (rope and protection is used for safety) What was the appeal of rope soloing Zodiac? I’ve been interested in soloing and big wall soloing for a while. Within the first year of climbing I became interested and started buying the gear and learning the techniques I would need with the dream of someday soloing a route on El Cap. The idea of soloing has always appealed to me because you have to be completely self-sufficient and figure out problems on your own. Unlike climbing with a partner, you always have something to do and you always know everything that’s going on in the system – that the rope is fixed, what the anchor is like, how much rope you have left. I find the extra complexity …