The Nose In A Day, by Mark Hudon

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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 7, 2009 - 10:41pm PT
The Nose In A Day

By Mark Hudon

It all started in the Fall of ‘08 when Jay and Jeanette Rennenberg climbed the Nose. I hadn’t been up El Cap since 1979 and was really feeling the longing in my heart. I emailed Jay and asked him if he wanted to do the Shield. I felt I needed a young buck to haul me up there and he seemed excited, strong and, importantly, owned all the gear we would need.

A few years ago, a bit before my 50th birthday, I had called Max Jones, my old partner from BITD to see if he might be interested in a 30th anniversary ascent of the Nose and maybe this time do it in a day. He didn’t seem too interested so I rooted around for another partner. John Harlin lives in Hood River and wanted to do it but it didn’t seem to catch fire with either of us and nothing ever happened.

A few days after talking to Jay I hatched the idea of a Nose in a Day ascent but with me leading the whole climb. I sort of didn’t want to have to worry about a partner on it and also thought that getting up the route in less than 24 hours would be no challenge at all. I knew that if I had a partner that was even half way good I could get up it in that time. Aside from that, I didn’t think I could stay awake for 24 hours!

I started training in February by doing a bike training video out in the garage and lifting weights, eventually doing 1 set of 50 reps of 11 different exercises not including ab exersises, alternating workouts every other day ending up training six days a week. I’m really good at training, I can set a goal, plot what it’s going to take to get me there and stay on track for months. As spring came I started sport climbing at a local area as much as I could although usually only one day a week. In that one day I’d warm up, work a project in the.12a-.12b range, send a project and then climb till I couldn’t climb anymore.


I figured I’d need three weeks in the Valley to get into crack climbing shape again and also three weeks to get Jay into speed jugging shape for the Nose.

Now Jay has more irons in the fire than most people have irons, he’s a freaking busy guy and in the middle of July informed me that his business was taking off and that he might have to spend all of October dealing with it and that I should find another partner. By now I was fully involved with training and buying gear and getting the time off and renting a place and it was way too late for me to cancel the trip. I emailed about five buddies asking if they would want to jug the whole Nose for me. None wanted to. I even thought that I might simply hire Hans Florine to jug it for me, figuring that there is no one on earth who could clean it faster. I didn’t want to have that asterisk attached to my ascent though. People would say, “well, he was with Hans…”

It never came to that when I asked John Fine, a guy who I had recently met and who I had been sport climbing with at the local crag. He’s done four or five El Cap routes and knew his sh#t.

John and I made plans, rented Hans’ house in West Yosemite, bought gear, put together a plan and got psyched.

I left on Friday the 9th of October, climbed for two days at Calaveras Dome and a day at Donner Summit with some old friends and then picked John up at the Sacramento Airport. We arrived at Hans’ Basecamp early on the morning of Tuesday, October the 13th, just in time for two days of torrential rains. No big deal though since we planned on doing the Shield first and spent the two days packing for it.

We jugged the fixed lines to Heart Ledges and Mammoth on the 15th but at Mammoth John started feeling exhausted and dizzy. We climbed to Gray ledges, spent the night there, my first night on El Cap in 30 years, and then climbed the three pitches to below the roof the next day. John was not improving so we made the decision to retreat. The Shield is a wild enough place and no one should ever go up there feeling exhausted and dizzy. Later we found out that John’s whole family got sick the day after he left.


We took a rest day and then decided to take a practice run up to Dolt Tower. A modest alpine start of 10:45 seemed appropriate.

Now, I have never “speed climbed” in my life, I have never short-fixed, and pretty much never French-freed or stood on a bolt or grabbed a pin. Let me tell you, it was a riot! All the rules were out the window! I grabbed slings, stood on bolts and yarded up on fixed gear like there was no tomorrow. We got to Sickle in less than 45 minutes and I was passing a party going into Dolt Hole a few minutes later. John wanted to follow the Legs so we led and belayed conventionally to Dolt Tower.

We made plans to do a run up to Camp IV a few days later since the final plan was to do the NIAD in the last week of October after Peggy and Ellen, my wife and daughter, arrived in the Valley to watch.

It rained the next day, which was a rest day anyway. We cruised the Valley, did some shopping therapy, went to the Ahwahnee to have a drink and try to get connected to the internet.

The next day turned out to be very nice so we went up to do the Moratorium and link it with the East Butt. There were parties on the East Butt when we got there so we traversed the length of El Cap and climbed the Freeblast starting at 1:45 pm! We figured it was the first ever link-up of those two routes. We’re calling it the Mora-Blast. 14 pitches of climbing and six of rapping, not a bad day. The next day we climbed the regular route on The Higher Spire, a route I had been saving to do "when I get old" and then took a rest day. We figured we’d climb to Camp IV on Friday, rest four or five days and then knock off the NIAD.

On Friday I awoke at 3:00 AM to the sound of John making coffee. I had outfitted Hans’ house with a full-on commercial coffee maker, figuring correctly, that good coffee, and lots of it, would make for a great trip.

We arrived at the base of the route at about 4:30. We left our shoes at the base, roped up and soloed Pine Line in the dark with headlamps.

So yeah, I used to be a Valley local, I’ve climbed the pitches to Sickle five or six times although only once in the last 30 years and only a few days before with a cam rack more modern than a #1, 2 and 3 Friend. I’ve climbed in the dark with a headlamp once but certainly never speed climbed in the dark! My plan was to short fix every pitch of the whole route. When I arrived at the top of a pitch I clipped myself in with a Metolius Personal Anchor Sling, called “off belay” to John, yarded up the slack, tied him off, told him the rope is ready for him to jug, and took a look at the next pitch and started climbing. That is, if I could even see the next pitch! Sunrise in late October is at 7 am. At 5:30, the sun is far, far below the horizon! It was pitch black, there was no way I could even see the next pitch outside the bubble of light my headlamp cast. I looked down at the 70 feet of slack at my feet and looked up at the 5.10 pitch above me. I though, “here I am, in the dark, looking at a 70 foot fall without even moving an inch off this ledge and I have to climb a 5.10 pitch”! My next though was, no joke, “Hey, suck it up man, you’re Mark Hudon, you’re badass, you’re good at this sh#t, get going”! So I got going, taking it move by move, trying to move up steadily. It was pretty dang fun!

There was a party ahead of us who had spent the night on Sickle. I was expecting to pass them as they slept but I heard them talking a little bit and found them out of their sleeping bags getting ready to take down their ledge. John was cleaning the swings to Sickle and I was out of rope so I stopped to talk. One of the guys asked me if it was my first El Cap route. I said no that it would be my 14th ascent of El Cap when we finally went for it. He asked when had I done my first route. I said 1974. He laughed and said that he was three years old that year!

I rambled up to the top of Sickle, self belayed on the swing to Dolt Corner and then didn’t place any gear till the bolt to the swing into the Legs. I short fixed there, making sure to leave John with enough slack to lower out on and then proceeded up the first Stove Leg crack. IMHO, that is the best pitch of the Legs. The SuperTopo book shows it at only 5.8 but it is perfect size for me and I only plugged in one or two pieces in the entire 120 feet. Higher, I put on a pair of leather belay gloves to make my hands bigger and give me better jambs on the fist crack section of the 10th pitch. I anchored the rope just below Dolt Tower, ran up the next 40 foot pitch and had the rope anchored on top of Dolt even before John had finished cleaning the previous pitch.

The last two pitches of the Legs were a bit of an effort for me but I knew I’d get a mental and physical rest on the four pitches to the top of Texas Flake. On El Cap tower I found five or six abandoned half gallon bottles of water so I helped myself to as much as I could drink. At this point we didn’t know that we were going all the way to the top. We each had four liters of water, mine in four 1 liter bottles in the pack John was jugging with and Johns in a Camelbak bladder in the pack. Luckily, we had “more than enough” bars and food to take us to Camp IV.

So far the weather was perfect. I had started out wearing a light poly pro top but had taken it off at Sickle and was climbing in only a light technical t-shirt. By now we were fully in the sun but there was no wind and the temps were neither too hot nor too cold. I hadn’t spent ten minutes waiting for John and he hadn’t had any problems cleaning any of the pitches so far. We were making good time and were in good spirits. I yarded in a bunch of slack and took off onto the Texas Flake pitch. I climbed the whole pitch without protection and was able to flip the rope in front of the flake so that John could have a clean jug to it’s top. I immediately started up on the bolt ladder to Boot Flake with no belay and 100 feet of slack. John arrived at the top of Texas and put me on belay and I was happy to free climb the Boot with only a couple pieces of gear. It was funny to be doing it that way since the first route Max and I had ever done together in 1976 was the Nose and I remember leading that pitch but placing hexes for protection. Climbing 5.10c wasn’t a real big deal for us back then but this many years later it was funny to be doing it at all, still with such ease and to now be concentrating on doing it fast!

It was pretty fricken’ wild, having done it so long ago, but there I was doing it again, and now trying to do it fast, flashing through all the things I had done in my life since. I had gotten married, started a business, sworn off climbing, had a child, thirty years of living, and here I was, back again, sweating, plugging in gear, pulling, climbing the same route as I had done a few weeks after meeting the woman I would marry. I don’t know, time compressed and elongated, my whole life was right there. I actually wrote this before, but I was where I had wanted to be and had wanted to be all along. It was weird.


Anyway, I clipped into the anchors and lowered off the Boot, cleaning my gear on the way down. I lowered right to the end of the rope (a 60 meter) and started the swing. It took me four or five tries but I climbed to the anchor even with the top of the Boot with no protection to make cleaning for John easier. I got a little rest at the anchor while John jugged and cleaned it.


It was then that I realized that I was pretty beat and that it was quite an effort to climb that high and that fast. We were a little bit below Camp IV, which Hans calls “half way” for a NIAD ascent and were on par for a 12 hour ascent. I had always said that I’d be happy with 16 hours, would be real happy with 12 hours and would be ecstatic with anything less than 10 hours. I yelled over to John that I was pretty beat and that for me to get back up there I would need four or five days rest and a lot of mental psyching and that we should just keep going to the top. He yelled back that he thought I would say that and that he was fine with going to the top. You know how things look from there, the top looks so close.

I climbed the next pitch and fixed the rope, the plan was for me to climb to Camp IV and to belay John across the traverse before he got on his jugs again and jugged to Camp IV. We did just that and I hauled in the slack again and climbed off on the 5.9 pitch to the Great Roof without a second thought. Again, it was wierd, I got to the anchor at the bottom of the Great Roof, yarded in a bunch of rope and started up the Roof pitch with nary a thought or a look. “Move the rope up” was the only thing on my mind.

So on and on, the Pancake Flake, the Super Crack, The Glowering Spot, place some gear, move up, which piece, aid sling, finger lock, move up, anchor the rope, move up.
At Camp VI I took a bit of a rest and waited for John. I wanted to eat something and also simply wanted to rest and take in the view. I knew it was in the bag at that point and took a ten or fifteen minute rest. I was sort of bummed that I had been doing as much aid as I had. I had wanted to free climb the pitch to Camp V, the pitch off of the Glowering Spot and a lot of climbing above the Changing Corners, but it simply wasn’t in the cards for me right then. It was funny thinking back when Max and I rambled up those pitches with casual disregard on our second ascent in 1979. That was me then but that wasn’t me now, no problem I thought, I plugged in another cam and moved up.

Towards the top of pitch 29 it started to get dark. John sent up my headlamp and I fixed it to my helmet. I climbed over to the anchor on the second to the last pitch but since I wanted to free climb it, I waited for John to get closer to the belay. It was strange hanging there, in the dark yet in the bubble of light from my headlamp. I knew we were at a very exposed position of the climb but could see nothing of the route above or the vastness of the climb below us. The fireflies of the light from the cars far below were the only hint that we were still on earth. I climbed the next pitch all free, yarded up hundreds of feet of rope and started clipping bolts to the top.

Again, it was weird, 35 years before I had first climbed El Cap. I was 18 years old and a senior in High School. Climbing had changed my life back then and here I was, 35 years later, living that changed life. I wondered how it could have turned out differently and couldn’t think of anything.


10/23/09
John Fine, Mark Hudon
Mark led the whole route at age 53 in 15.5 hours.

Notes:

The rack


All Metolius Gear.

11 Quickdraws
12 Free biners
7 22" slings with 2 biners
1 ea #00 to #1 Master Cam
2 ea #2 to #6 Master Cam
1 ea #00/0 to #4/5 Offset Master Cam
2 ea #7, #8 Power Cam
2 Medium Super Cam
1 Large Super Cam

1 set 6-10 Astro Nut, free set
1 set 1-6 Ultralight Curved Nut
1 set 1-4 HB off set nuts
2 Home made 3 step aid slings
1 Metolius Personal Anchor Sling.

1 60m 9.6mm rope
1 60m 8.6mm tag line

This set of gear was perfect for the route I used everything at least once and most things quite a bit more. I found the Metolius Master Cams and Offset Master Cams a joy to use, they seemed to fit easily everywhere and seemed bomber every time.

Training:

Cardio.
In February I started doing a bike training workout on my fluid trainer in the garage. This gives me a solid 45 minute cardiovascular workout. I'm usually sweating like a pig when I'm done, even in the cold garage. I do this three days a week if I don't go skiing on Friday. I did this till it got warm enough to actually go outside and ride my bike. There are great mt bike trails five minutes from my house and I would do a 10 mile ride two or three times a week after work.

Weights:
Also in February I started lifting weights. At the start it was three sets of 10-12 but every six weeks I'd take a week off and change the weight/set combo. For the last two months I was doing one set of 11 different exercises, 50 reps.
My exercises come from a book "The Secrets of Advanced Bodybuilders" by Health for Life. I find their regime very good for me since for every pushing exercise you do you then do a pulling exercise. I find the regime very efficient since I can usually barely do the last sets/reps when I get to them. I also do their "Legendary Abs" routine.

I also did a lot of heavy finger rolls and a simulated rope climbing thing.

Climbing:
On Fridays I would get out to real rock but two mornings a week I went over to the local sports club which has a boring 30 foot tall vertical wall. I'd string a rope up each of the four routes and climb up and down each route four times or for 45 minutes which ever came first. I self belayed using a Petzl ASAP.
I must have looked like quite the geek as I climbed with all the gear mentioned above but including a 70 oz Camelbak. I was trying to simulate the weight of the actual gear I'd use on the route.

Recovery.
Protein Power, Glucosamine and Chondroitin pills. Two beers a day, without fail.

I took about two weeks off just before the beginning of the trip to ensure I was plenty rested.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Nov 7, 2009 - 10:58pm PT
Thanks for sharing!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:05pm PT
Mark as I said on the other thread, you are my hero!! However, you will always have that asterisk attached to this achievement of having stayed in Hans' house!!! (GGG)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2009 - 11:13pm PT
Peter,

Yeah, I knew that would happen. I may have slept in the very bed that Hans or Yuji or some other some such notable slept in. I'm sure it was their super powers I picked up. WTF anyway, I'm old (but you're older) and I'll take any super powers where I can get 'em, eh?

Take care,

We have to meet one of these days, you're my hero too, you know!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:18pm PT
Proud effort for both you guys, congrats again!

If you go back for more free climbing and a better time, try the 5.10d traverse from Sickle to the very bottom of the Stovelegs. A couple of bolts and it is pretty reasonable, more direct and you avoid several swings.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:25pm PT
Now that was a ride! Thanks, Mark!
wayne burleson

climber
Amherst, MA
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:35pm PT
Thanks Mark!

Just like Long, Hard and Free, this is great inspirational writing
as well as climbing. We've all aged and grown, but it's as powerful as
it was in 1981, ( see http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/lhf81.htm )

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:38pm PT
AWESOME! Mark. I was hoping we'd get a report
on this--I've been so danged impressed with your first
ascent thread, and then this--whoo hoo!
You Rock!!!!!
Congratulations on a GREAT send!!!!
Ghoulwe

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:38pm PT
Nice job Hud. Great effort and a good trip report. Old's cool!

Eric
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:39pm PT
Great report.

Yup, once you get to Camp IV, you don't feel so much like going down and coming back up later in the week!

Peace

Karl
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:41pm PT
Good job, Mark--a proud accomplishment there:-)
dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:53pm PT
My favorite part of the story; He asked when had I done my first route. I said 1974. He laughed and said that he was three years old that year! LOL.
Good on you Mark! What a great read!

Thanks, Dawg.


neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:55pm PT
hey there mark, say, ... wow, you posted! say, great job and great share...

scarey stuff, to me, as to the pushing the speed in the dark... :O

hey, this was very interesting, as a side note, your quote here:
It was pretty fricken’ wild, having done it so long ago, but there I was doing it again, and now trying to do it fast, flashing through all the things I had done in my life since. I had gotten married, started a business, sworn off climbing, had a child, thirty years of living, and here I was, back again, sweating, plugging in gear, pulling, climbing the same route as I had done a few weeks after meeting the woman I would marry. I don’t know, time compressed and elongated, my whole life was right there. I actually wrote this before, but I was where I had wanted to be and had wanted to be all along. It was weird.


it IS really strange, and amazing and sometime beyond our comprehension, the way, our brain works----when we are back in a "place of the past" while living in the "future of that past" and not only just there:
but:
doing the same thing... no many folks get that opportunity... and some, too, may not want it...

thaks for the neat share, and those interesting "extras"...
nice before and after pics, as to the age... :)
pcousar

Sport climber
White Salmon, WA
Nov 8, 2009 - 12:07am PT
Under 16 hours was expected from Mr Hudon!

So ahh, whats the highest combined age of NAID? Do you guys maybe have it?

Good job, glad you both had fun.



Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 8, 2009 - 12:11am PT
i'm with Neebee, I was struck by that passage, as well.

The art of his state, in the new age... or something...
Bravo!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2009 - 12:16am PT
Thanks to all.

John is 48 or 49 and I'm 54 for a combined age of 103. I think that age combo has been done before. I think the combo to beat now is 110.

Galen Rowell was 60, 61 or 62 when he did it in a day, sharing the leading load but I don't know how old the person he did it with was.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:21am PT
Wow mark, what an inspiration. I'm only 29, but with 2 kids I feel you on bieng busy. Sometimes my family wonders why I climb, from now on I'll just have them read this. Then they will know it's for the glory! Great send, great post.
Kalen
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:41am PT
Thanks, Mark - that was great!

Did you guys throw yourselves into the river when you got down?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:57am PT
thanks for the great trip report Mark!
Michael Kennedy

Social climber
Carbondale, Colorado
Nov 8, 2009 - 07:40am PT
Great job on the route and super story! Thanks.
426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Nov 8, 2009 - 08:54am PT
Nice stuff Mark, grats. Does that compression 'feeling' ever happen on new routes/moves? It does to me. I must be gettin old
mpandy

Trad climber
Jackson Hole, WY
Nov 8, 2009 - 09:05am PT
Awesome!

Hey - where'd you get your list of 11 exercises? Just curious what weight training you did? (Not that I think weight lifting will get me up the Nose, jsut curious that's all).

Double D

climber
Nov 8, 2009 - 10:17am PT
Wow, proud send Mark. I really enjoyed the read. It's nice to see that old men can still crank.

mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Nov 8, 2009 - 10:19am PT
Really impressive ascent, and great story, Mark! I was working at A-16 in San Diego when you guys came down and gave your "Long, Hard, and Free" (or something like that) slideshow in '81 or '82 (I also remember your inclusion of Friends--which were pretty new to the scene--in some of your shots: "A group of Friends around the campfire," etc.).

I thought you guys were pretty amazing then, and to pull this off 35 years later is pretty dang inspiring.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Nov 8, 2009 - 10:26am PT
It took awhile to figure out what to say about this feat.

It's an amazing inspiration. WOW!

Thank you Mark

Bill
crossman04

Trad climber
san diego, ca
Nov 8, 2009 - 10:36am PT
quite an inspiring story. great post!
TomKimbrough

Social climber
Salt Lake City
Nov 8, 2009 - 10:43am PT
I wonder about the 60 and over time record. As I recall George Lowe did NIAD at 60 swinging leads. But he gets three asterisks.... He did it with Alex Lowe! I don't remember what their time was.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:09am PT
Great trip report Mark,
Thanks for writing it.
Zander
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:38am PT
Great report. Congrats for a great goal and achievement, Mark.

Though I never quite understood the need for short fixing, unless one is going for the absolute record time. It seems to me that the energy saved by leading blocks of pitches, with a real belay, will result in a similar time savings in the long run.

hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:40am PT
Great account of your adventure Mark. Its inspiring for younger guys like me to read this and realize that maybe it doesn't all have to happen right now and it can still be happening then.


Im still going to try to make it all happen now though....


Thanks for writing!
senderbender

Mountain climber
hood river or.
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:53am PT
Great report on a awesome climb! well done-feeling the stoke Mark. Guess your ready for Index :)
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Nov 8, 2009 - 12:01pm PT
Great TR Mark. Thanks for the thoughts and the inspiration for us 50YOs.
Mal
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Nov 8, 2009 - 12:37pm PT
Great report! Way to grab a goal and just hang with it to the end.

Mark, I am really happy that the ascent of the Nose by Jeanette and myself inspired you to do this, I take it as a huge comment to think we inspired you!

When Jeanette and I called you and Peggy from the side of El Cap, your psych came through the phone and really re-ignited our weary eyed team.

I know we would have had a blast doing this project and I wish we had been able to do it together, but it looks like Mr. Fine did a really great job as your partner.

You mention an awful lot of free climbing with very little gear. Nice to see you pulling down so hard.

Way to GO!
Jay Renneberg
John Fine

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 8, 2009 - 12:57pm PT
No river when we got down - just AFS therapy (Alcohol, Food, Sleep). Repeated until the the full benefit was achieved.

It was a superb adventure.

-John

http://homepage.newschool.edu/~wrightd/cavafy-ithaka.html
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:01pm PT
Great job!

I'm adding you to my list of over 50 inspirationals, along with Galen.

Since he was kind of super-human physically, your accomplishment is even more helpful- especially the training.

Could you elaborate a bit on your training regimen?


Thanks,

Jay
Jack Burns

climber
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:09pm PT
Awesome, awesome, awesome!

I tried to onsight the NIAD back in 2000 when my ego was larger than my forearms. Realized at the base that my partner didn't want to short-fix. Got to the top of the Boot in 12 hours with no water left and we bailed. A great day of climbing on spectacular stone, nonetheless. Climbers seem to portray the climbing on the Nose as no big deal but I was really surprised at all the "meat and potatoes" climbing involved. The "5.8" fists below the Jardine Traverse spanked me good and I was in full-on aid mode on the Boot Flake 10c hands. I remember asking one of my friends who had done the NIAD about it and he said it's the hardest thing he's done, ever. This was a guy who would onsight 5.13 regularly and had a bunch of scary trad routes under his belt.

Congratulations, Mark. Leading the whole route is PROUD. This TR has me all sorts of psyched to start training and give the NIAD another try next year.
10b4me

Ice climber
the reticient boulder at the Happies
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:27pm PT
one of the better trip reports on Supertopo(imo).
thanks.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:27pm PT
Nice work lads! I remember you and Max from BITD. I always thought it was your lack of height that let you climb so well... at least that was the excuse I gave my 6'1" sad sac of a self.

By the way, with age... Mark Hudon=Jeremy Piven
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:45pm PT
Well done Mark and fun report.

Randy V
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2009 - 01:58pm PT
Thanks to everyone again.

I'm telling you, honest to god, inspiring people is as much of a reward as actually doing the climb.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 8, 2009 - 01:58pm PT
Hey Jay, how was Indian Creek? Post up, bro! Looks like we're on for Zanderland on the 12th.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Nov 8, 2009 - 02:00pm PT
pretty sweet, Mark!!!!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 8, 2009 - 02:04pm PT
Always wanted to do the NIAD. I felt I had the skills but not the guns so I never got beyond stuff like Half Dome and the West Face.

Maybe with the right partner when I was in pretty good shape but it still would have been like going into a bank and pointing my finger at the clerks and yelling "this is a stick up, give me your money"

No guns, no glory!

Congrats again!

Would have been funny if you could have passed up some arrogant young guns going slower than expected as usual. They would see the codgers mantle up to their bivy and then BOOM, gone like the wind passing.

Peace

Karl
Fletcher

Trad climber
somewhere approaching Ajna
Nov 8, 2009 - 02:14pm PT
Thanks Mark, I really enjoy your writing and storytelling. That adds even more to a great accomplishment.

Eric
John Fine

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 8, 2009 - 02:30pm PT
NIAD felt like this...

-John
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2009 - 02:35pm PT
Yeah, John, that's good.
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Nov 8, 2009 - 02:49pm PT
Nice work Mark,

Next time you come down it would be great to meet up, and go climb something.

Jesse McGahey
Yosemite Climbing Ranger
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Nov 8, 2009 - 03:03pm PT
Great job Mark and John!

Very nice account of an inspiring climb! Way to go, way to persevere, way to achieve a worthy goal!

Now a public service safety announcement: 32 years ago I was an impressionable 15 year old, who gleaned a lot of inspiration and knowledge from Mark, and developed a life long love of climbing achievement as a result, including becoming a long time teacher and guide, so thanks!.

So, to keep another of my teachers (Werner) from becoming too busy...this is for all the impressionable young-uns or old-uns out there...

it is not necessary to climb anything up there with "100 feet of slack" to do the Nose in 15 hours or even faster!! It works for Mark, cause he's been jamming granite on El Cap for 35 years, but you can go fast and belay, or short fix and clip a few knots and be just as fast!

There, the safety meister strikes again, excuse the interruption, back to our regular programming.

Peter
duncan

climber
London, UK
Nov 9, 2009 - 03:40am PT
Mark, congratulations and thank you for taking the time to write this. I noted Tom Evans' report but it's great to hear the whole story. You were an inspiration in Mountain 79 and now again in '09. The key line for me was "I’m really good at training, I can set a goal, plot what it’s going to take to get me there and stay on track for months."
MH2

climber
Nov 9, 2009 - 03:47am PT
I'm telling you, honest to god, inspiring people is as much of a reward as actually doing the climb.


I don't quite see how you would separate the two, but consider yourself rewarded. This is a Big Deal. An amazing day well-placed along the trajectory of a great career. Makes one feel really good about John, too!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 9, 2009 - 04:54am PT
Was thinking about this while doing the annual, drizzling fall yard cleanup today. Mostly about the interacting roles of motivation, discipline, and experience in pulling off something of this magnitude. I'm pretty good at motivating myself, but I'm also a bit too ADHD / novelty-oriented for the level of goal-driven, day-in-day-out training discipline Mark clearly shows an abundance of.

BITD, and now, whatever climbing I've done is based entirely novelty-seeking motivation and not really driven or governed by much [explicit] discipline of any kind. Part of that for me is climbing is my escape and relief from a world of discipline and work and I don't want climbing to become a part of that. But I think Mark aptly demonstrates some endeavors, and particularly many post-50 physical ones, clearly require a tight melding of motivation and discipline - that you aren't going to be able to skate by on just one or the other.

And then add experience to the equation - sheer accumulated yardage and long familiarity - providing confidence and security inherent in knowing that you aren't necessarily doing something new but rather reacquainting mind and body with the requirements and demands of a such a grand endeavor. That, really, what are the odds of a highly-motivated and disciplined 50+ year old doing NIAD without substantial grainite / crack climbing, experience? Or without prior Valley experience on El Cap, the Nose, or granite of a similar stature elsewhere?

Anyway, the afternoon's raking and ruminating simply reiterated for me how you pretty much need to have all three legs of that equation - motivation, discipline, and experience - fully provisioned, in force, and under control to manage some things. True, you could say the same about a lot of things in life, but it seems to me that some endeavors - like 50+ NIAD runs - really bring that triad into sharp focus. Bottom line is, you aren't going to wish your way up it, get up it on laurels from BITD, or onsight it after a long career of short sandstone. Now that doesn't mean one shouldn't dream, aspire, or try - just that the odds are probably pretty long (no matter who you are) and you better get your head screwed on straight to begin with if you're going to make a run at it. It's also probably the reason a lot of folks think about it, but very few manage to get even close to actually pulling it off.

All the more kudos to Mark and John in that regard.
Delhi Dog

Trad climber
Good Question...
Nov 9, 2009 - 05:19am PT
Ya Mark I just have to add my appreciation for the time spent in sharing with us. Great job setting your goal and following through.
Truly inspiring for me on many levels...

Cheers,
DD
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Nov 9, 2009 - 08:38am PT
That was really nice. I was at an Ed Viesturs show a couple of weeks ago and he talked about how important is is to have goals and working to achieve them. It's pretty reaffirming to see someone set up the pins and then knock them all down. Thanks for sharing and congrats to you!
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Nov 9, 2009 - 09:06am PT
Thanks! Gives me hope.
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Nov 9, 2009 - 10:06am PT
I'm laughing over here. You called my NIAD trip report "badass" in the comments section. Well, let me return the favor. Mark YOUR ascent WAY MORE BADASS!!! Nice work!

Josh
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 9, 2009 - 10:57am PT
Nice climb--congratulations-and a great report. As I was reading, I thought to pull your chain a little about sleeping at Hans' house. Peter beat me to it. Makes me start thinking...

Best, Roger
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Nov 9, 2009 - 11:48am PT
Nice job Mark. And great reading too!!

TC
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 9, 2009 - 11:52am PT
Wow. An awesome achievement at any age, and thanks for sharing it with us. As a 45 year old punter with aspirations of getting back on the Big Stone (and never having done the Nose), you've lit a fire in my belly. Nice to know that it's an achievable goal rather than a symptom of an early mid-life crisis.
Ray Olson

Trad climber
Imperial Beach, California
Nov 9, 2009 - 12:03pm PT
great story Mark, the introspective stuff makes
for real substance, thanks for keeping it real.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Nov 9, 2009 - 12:09pm PT
“Hey, suck it up man, you’re Mark Hudon, you’re badass, you’re good at this sh#t

True in the 70s, true today.

Nice reportage and congrats. Creeping into my late 30s and all you 50-somethings out there still crushing it are a big time inspiration. What's next, the RNWFHD + Nose linkup sub-24hr?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2009 - 12:46pm PT
Thanks to all again, it means a lot to me.

My next goal is to free climb the Freerider. I'm planning on giving it a go this spring.
Double D

climber
Nov 9, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
Kudos to John as well... a Fine job!

Hey Mark post up your training routine, where you started and where you ended up, etc. What were your training cruxes? Was it really all just in the Coffee and sleeping in Han's bed? Inquiring minds want to know!



Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Nov 9, 2009 - 12:59pm PT
Yeah, spill on the training regimen. And good luck on the Freerider, didn't something break off that traverse pitch last year?
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 9, 2009 - 01:03pm PT
Outstanding!!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2009 - 01:09pm PT
Coz,

Thanks, I swear to god that I said that to myself. I actually laughed at myself after I said it too!

Yeah, come on up to Hood River, the Mt. Biking around here is awesome.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 9, 2009 - 01:44pm PT
Well, now I know the secret of success for Hudon and Cosgrove, some of toughest Valley climbers ever, and, unfortunately, I know why I will always stick to "Short, semi-hard, and top-roped."
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2009 - 01:53pm PT
So, what? Telling yourself that you're Roger Breedlove doesn't do it for you? Tell you what, go ahead and tell yourself that you're Mark Hudon and that you're bad ass. That's fine with me, anything I can do to help ;-)
adventurous one

Trad climber
Truckee Ca.
Nov 9, 2009 - 02:05pm PT
The new battle cry of past their prime, middle aged rock warriors, "suck it up man I'M MARK HUDON, AND I AM BAD ASS! and I am good at this sh#t".
Kind of just rolls off the lips similar to the cliche battle cry "I'm mad as hell, and I'm just not going to take it anymore" Classic!

Thanks for the Tr and insight.
Dave Johnson

Mountain climber
Sacramento, CA
Nov 9, 2009 - 02:26pm PT
Great job & TR, Mark!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 9, 2009 - 02:32pm PT
Good one Mark. And so community minded. Do you think I could get a motivational t-shirt?

"Iamhaiba" means something in Japanese.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 9, 2009 - 03:18pm PT
Well, if it worked for Jack and his magic beanstalk...

Presumably there will now be a long line of SuperTopians, ordering their magic beans from Hood River Coffee Company, or even making a pilgrimage to sit at the feet of the guru...
senderbender

Mountain climber
hood river or.
Nov 9, 2009 - 03:26pm PT
awesome send Mark, glad you were safe and successful. more pics?? like to put camp in on top and go do the upper pitches next year, just a sweet verdon style day. i'll follow you on that. t w
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2009 - 03:33pm PT
We didn't take a camera so the only photos are the ones Tom took.

Here's a montage of Toms photos of us climbing from Texas Flake to almost Camp IV


cfrac

Trad climber
Gardiner,NY
Nov 9, 2009 - 05:48pm PT
Mark! Great work!!!!! We've been waiting for the TR.
Maybe a reunion trip to the Gunks would make a nice bit of training for Free Ride!
Chris Fracchia
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2009 - 06:14pm PT
Chris! I forgot to ask Ellen for your email address! Sorry, glad you found the TR.

Take care,


Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 9, 2009 - 06:19pm PT
I myself at age 53 am plotting to drive all the way from the Bay Area to Josh without peeing....
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 9, 2009 - 06:20pm PT
So it looks like it may be true, what they say. Drinking too much coffee may stunt your growth... Or was that smoking? :-) Whatever, it sure seems good for your climbing - next time I'm en route to Smith or the Valley, I must stop in Hood River.
426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Nov 9, 2009 - 06:26pm PT
Suck it up, I'm Jaybro and I'm badass.


I couldn't send, always failed near bakersfield. (you're good at this pizz)
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Nov 9, 2009 - 06:31pm PT
Hudon, you are !#@ing RAD! I've always dreamed of doing the Nose in a day....problem is then I wake up. At 46 years of age I wonder if I will ever get the motivation and drive that it takes to actually spend the time to get fit enough do El Cap again period(let alone in a day). Super motivational TR man, hats off to you and John both-
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Nov 9, 2009 - 08:25pm PT
Thanks for posting up and being very motivational Mark.

i still have your's and Max's classic piece, long hard and free tucked away in a safe spot. That inspired me years ago and you're done it again...

Oops.. I meant States of the Art!

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 9, 2009 - 08:33pm PT
Funny you should mention it: http://supertopo.com/climbers-forum/307840/States_of_the_Art
Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Nov 9, 2009 - 10:39pm PT
Well, I finally had the time to read this great report and inspiring too. it was cool to see you guys from the meadow finishing the climb.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2009 - 11:49pm PT
Slakkey, i just saw your earlier post about the bright headlamp. It was a Petzl MYO XP. It is John's headlamp but he let me borrow it for the leading. It's a bit pricy but way, way nice and bright.
Brock

Trad climber
RENO, NV
Nov 10, 2009 - 12:59am PT
Mark,
Very inspiring. A buddy told me of your post and I had to check it out. Yeah, guess time can slip away from ya. Life gets busy: marriage, career, kids...none of these do I regret, but sure wish I always had/have time for more climbing.

My friend just went climbing w/ Ron Kauk a few weeks ago...Let's see Ron is gotta be pushing 50 right? Anyway, Ron warmed up on a 5.13 and did laps on it as my friend (ten-twelve years younger than Ron and a solid climber himself) supposedly struggled up it.

As the years are flying by it is good to hear that I still could/can do NAID in the years to come. STAY FIT CLIMB HARD. You got me motivated.

Thanks Mark!
Climbing dropout

Trad climber
Vancouver, BC
Nov 10, 2009 - 01:04am PT
Mark thanks for the grand inspiration ! I broke the 50 year old barrier in September and was getting a wee bit bummed about it. Your post is adding fuel to the fire being lit under my ass, by several old friends, to get back on the program ...

Congrats on your NIAD flash !


Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2009 - 10:02am PT
Thanks again,

One tip I have is to tell everyone you know that you're going to do the Nose in a day. Tell your mother, your sisters, your brother, waitresses at restaurants, cab drivers, the mailman, maybe even get the local newspaper to write an article about you doing it. I call this the "digging a hole motivational program". After a while of laying that groundwork you'll have strangers asking you if you've done it yet.
Eventually you simply have to go do it or move to another town.

Works for me.
ldhr

Trad climber
hood river
Nov 10, 2009 - 11:45am PT
Mark - great story and accomplishment. I got sweaty palms just by reading the trip report. I got so motivated I just dropped and did 30 pushups! My training goals have nothing to do with climbing anymore but you've motivated me to set bigger goals and go after it.
Thanks for sharing!
Laird Davis
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Nov 11, 2009 - 11:38am PT
Congratulations Mark, on a spectacular, purely life-affirming, "timeless" achievement! Besides vision, training and execution, you and your crack team (John, wife and daughter), also paint a picture of the powers of Togetherness. ¡Viva El Capitan and your entire Crew! -Bruce
Double D

climber
Nov 12, 2009 - 12:14am PT
"digging a hole motivational program"... LOL!
But so true, eh?
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Nov 12, 2009 - 03:43am PT
yo hud, nice job on the nose. pm said you thrashed him on the IV on black wall...that's almost more impessive to me than the nose.
so hud, why don't you put me on your big wall list. i got a place in mariposa. you bring the coffee, i'll supply the hot tub.
oh, i also got back into windsurfing this year. can you teach me how to f#*%ing turn! ciao, steve schneider
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 12, 2009 - 03:56am PT
"f#*%ing Turn"

Hahaha - now we're talking some real suffering. That there is a closely guarded secret of the gorge guild, but if you were up next season I'm sure Mark or one of the others of us could help you out with that - to the degree that anyone can 'help' another with it, of course.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 12, 2009 - 09:12am PT
What a cool thread!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2009 - 09:46am PT
Steve, I'm going to take you up on that. Come on up to the Gorge this summer, I'll get you going on the water.

take care,

MH
fosburg

climber
Nov 12, 2009 - 09:51am PT
The affirmation stuff probably works. The other day on the Macabre Roof I declared, "I'm Jerry Moffat, I'm on top-rope" like that psycho in Hard Grit and it worked. Good job on the NIAD! Like many, I was inspired by Long, Hard, and Free back in the day.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 14, 2009 - 12:13pm PT
Mark sending this summer, 5.12.
Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Nov 14, 2009 - 01:42pm PT
I vote Mark as "Guy with his shite most together" in Climbing...

WOW!!!

Great TR. Great story.

Post Review Edit: I'm with Jaybro... this is a really cool thread...

I'll be back
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
boulder
Nov 14, 2009 - 02:04pm PT
On your mark, get set
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2009 - 03:11pm PT
I wish we had taken a camera. I'd really like to have a shot looking down at John, in his bubble of light, belaying me on the last pitch. That was wild, it being totally dark and us so way up there and not being able see anything. Maybe next time. I suspect there will be more NIAD in my future.

You know, I'd actually like to go up there and take a couple days to do it, but try to free climb as much as I can, same as Max and I did in '79. Haul two light little haul packs, lead and follow everything. I think that would be way fun.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 15, 2009 - 12:41pm PT
Here's Mark on a Hidden Treasure, 11c. one of the best routes in ....
Yeah mark,you got to bring a little Canon along, they fit in your shirt pocket, no reason not to, except they don't do so well in the chimneys..may my last camera rest in peace.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2009 - 12:47pm PT
I have a Canon G10 (and I also have one for sale) that is a really nice camera except it's a tad too big for a shirt or pants pocket. I have a nice, over the shoulder case and set up for it but still, the weight and the time convinced me otherwise. Next time for sure though. I want to explore climbing with a Camelbak that is small and light but one that has a few pockets.

Roman

Trad climber
Bostonia
Nov 16, 2009 - 02:17pm PT
This is just so badass and inspirational on so many levels. Thanks!


healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 17, 2009 - 03:44pm PT
So, are you still recovering, or are you already back in training for Free Rider? Will the training routine change over the winter?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2009 - 01:23pm PT
I'm pretty recovered right now. it took about three weeks.

I'm going to start lifting and doing the bike training on Jan 1st. I need to build a climbing wall in the garage also.

I plan on spending a bit of time down at Smith this spring, trying to get back into 5.12d shape.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 20, 2009 - 05:54pm PT
Seems like HR would be about ripe for a gym at this point given it seems like so much more of a year-round community than in the late 80's and early 90's.
hashbro

Trad climber
Mental Physics........
Nov 30, 2009 - 12:53am PT
Mark,

You are rockstar!

I've known it since we cragged back in the old days and really want to thank you for your continued inspiration for all us old guys trying to walk in your footsteps.

Be safe and keep it up,

Spencer
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Nov 30, 2009 - 10:21pm PT
Thanks Mark
Inspirational read.
You are Bad Ass!
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Dec 13, 2009 - 01:03am PT
Bump for Mark's trip report, in case you haven't seen it:

http://www.supertopo.com/Trip-Report/10498/The_Nose_in_a_Day

Erik of Oakland

Gym climber
Oakland
Dec 13, 2009 - 05:18pm PT
"Recovery.
Protein Power, Glucosamine and Chondroitin pills. Two beers a day, without fail."

MH is my new hero.

zBrown

Ice climber
Chula Vista, CA
Feb 15, 2012 - 03:09pm PT
It was pitch black, there was no way I could even see the next pitch outside the bubble of light my headlamp cast. I looked down at the 70 feet of slack at my feet and looked up at the 5.10 pitch above me.

First off, congrats on your accomplishment. I'm curious if it would have made much difference if you had done a daylight trial run up the first section to be climbed in the dark?

Did you get back into shape for another niad?

Edit: I guess I should read more carefully huh?
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 15, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
thanks for the bump! nice work Mark!
TripleS_in_EBs

climber
Poulsbo, WA
Feb 15, 2012 - 08:11pm PT
So Mark, comparing how you felt during and after the NIAD with other El Cap multi-day camping and hauling adventures, how do you rate the toll on the body and mind between the two ascent styles, i.e. faster, lighter, no hauling, and single long day versus slower but with hauling, heavier rack, more logistics, more overall time exposed, back-to-back work days with not so much sleep, etc. ?

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
Thanks,

zBrown,
John and I had climbed to Dolt a few days before and it did make a positive difference.

No, not another NAID yet, I have two partners who I want to do it with but I don't foresee having time for the next couple of years, I have numerous aid walls planned. Maybe I'll lead the whole thing in a day in 2016 when I'm 60!

Triple,
The NIAD, leading the whole thing, was quite mentally tiring for me. When I was younger I used to solo a fair bit and running out 5.10 cracks doesn't bother me too much but now, I can still run out 5.10 but short roping every pitch was mentally draining. I look back at it now, three years later and think, "dang, I'm glad that I did that then because I don't know if I could do it now".

The NIAD and my other recent El Cap route, the solos and with partners are all different. The NIAD was fun because it was all about speed and not the details, the other routes are fun because they are just the opposite. I have all sorts of tricks to lessen the brutality of walls so at the end of a long wall I don't really feel too bad. Having porters hump my stuff down really helps. After the Shield, where John and I carried our own stuff down, I'm sure I expended 1/4 of the total effort for the whole experience, on the descent.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Feb 15, 2012 - 11:12pm PT
Just read this for the first time.

Mark, I hope I have a third of your energy and drive when I'm your age. I'll be there soon, as I am 45 now.

The biggest problem I have now, other then motivating myself, is injury.

I think my favorite part of your TR, was how you brought a commercial coffee machine with you, classic!
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Feb 16, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
bump because it's cool and it's climbing!
zBrown

Ice climber
Chula Vista, CA
Feb 17, 2012 - 10:31pm PT
In case we ever get too old to remember how to climb, it's good that there are younger (and prettier) folks around to remind us (apologies Mark - I'll take it down if nobody laughs):

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2012 - 11:59pm PT
Can you imagine us all, sitting in the old folks home, watching climbing vids of the latest hot kids! That'll be funny as hell.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Feb 18, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
Mark- a question...

Since you were not going for the Nose record, why was the PDL or "HUGE EFFING LOOP" method used whilst shortfixing?

Many teams seem to hit the same mark you did for time, without using that technique.

Would one piece and a grigri or clove hitch off a belay have been too much to handle?

Honest questions, obviously you are MARK HUDON, but for the regular joe's ot there...

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2012 - 01:36pm PT
Good question, in hindsight, I don't know why I did that. I think I was hoping beyond hope that I'd get it in less than 10 hours and that I needed to go as fas as I could.

My feeling was that if I used a Grigri or a knot, at some point, I'd have to release that knot or grigri and wait for a moment till the belayer pulled in all the slack. You'd be in that same danger of a big fall for a few moments.

Even still, I really didn't worry about it too much. I never ran up a pitch willy nilly, I was always soloing in my mind and inspected every hand jam and foot placement. I was always climbing with the thought that I could hold myself on any one hand hold if another appendage popped.

Still though, at short roping's very root, merely getting off the anchor and up 25 feet or so, placing a piece and sitting on it till you're on belay has it's advantages.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Feb 18, 2012 - 06:56pm PT
Thanks mark, good to hear about the mindset. Way out of my league.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
Peggy, Ellen and I are up in fire tower south of Mt Hood right now!
As I was hiking up here I was thinking that the climb would have taken three or four hours longer if I had waited for a belay on every pitch. In a couple spots, I finished or was near finished with the pitch before John even got to the anchor!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2012 - 11:23pm PT
Don't forget that you also have to cut down that layer of fat that sits between your muscles and skin for the six pack to show! No more donuts or ice cream at night.

Don't forget: Eat fat, wear fat!
nathanael

climber
CA
Jun 22, 2016 - 11:31am PT
Maybe I'll lead the whole thing in a day in 2016 when I'm 60!
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