"My basic plan is to head to the valley around the first of the month. Brandon wants to do something like lurking fear in a day or some such thing, on the first weekend of April. Then I want to do skull queen in a few hours as an intro to solo climbing. Then, and only then will I be ready for the real fun."
I wanted to be his partner, but he refused because, as he told me, then he'd know he would get up it. He wanted an adventure. Everything was carefully planned. The whole thing turned out to be a warmup for the rest of the season. I miss him. To date, he's still the best climber I've ever roped up with. We've both moved on, so long ago. I had just started working as an engineer out of college. I don't think he was even 20 in this photo, in 1997. I was 25 when I took it, I'm 41 now.
I also really like the story of Tomaz soloing this thing. Love that photo. The Valley is full of adventure, full of these lives and stories.