All posts tagged: Yosemite National Park

Tips to Become a More Efficient Big Wall Climber

  Big wall climbing involves a great deal of rope management, transitions, and organization in order to keep upward progress in perpetual motion. A team’s ability (or lack there of) to climb and function efficiently on a wall can be the difference between topping out and getting appointed “Bail of the Day” on ElCap Report. Whether you’re tackling your first big wall this season or simply looking to improve your systems, here are a few tips to help you become a more efficient big wall climber: Keep the leader moving Your team can only move as fast as your leader. If you’re currently seconding, helping the leader continue to make upward progress should be your priority. Offer to carry larger cams they won’t need for the next pitch to lighten their rack. Refill their water bottle and be ready to pass it off along with some snacks at the top of the pitch. Remember, the leader doesn’t need to climb fast; they just need to keep moving. Don’t get stuck in aid mode You’ve been aiding …

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 …

Pushing Through New Dimensions

“Regardless of our actual level of fitness, if we feel strong, agile, and adventurous, then we climb better than if we feel weak, clumsy, and meek. Climbing hard involves making moves that feel improbable, and continuing when the situation seems nearly hopeless.” – Arno Ilgner I jammed my hand into the crack, lifted my feet off the ground, and then jammed my feet into the crack. My muscles felt fatigued. As I climbed higher I placed two, three, four cams into the crack. Every move upward felt dense and heavy. Every move took effort. As I reached a small ledge, the top of the first pitch, I set up an anchor, pulled up the rope, and began belaying Andrea. The past week had been filled with some amazing climbing. In fact, the previous day, Andrea and I had an incredible time pushing hard – she redpointed her project and I onsighted my hardest route to date. But clearly all the challenging climbing was catching up to me and my endurance was wavering. It was the …

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 …