My first memory as a child is of scrambling up the left side of the Captain with my parents (1962). As we were headed up, several giants (to a 4 year old) were coming down, carrying packs, ropes, and racks of pins. I was fascinated, and they were kind enough to talk to me for a moment.
That memory burned in my mind for years, until I got a chance to try climbing myself. I never looked back. I recognized greatness the first time I encountered it, and was inspired to spend my life climbing as well.
When I did the Dihedral Wall in 1980, it was the fulfillment of my childhood dream. Dihedral in not the hardest route, or even one of the most pleasant routes on El Cap, but the line is un-deniable.
What Todd did to Dihedral Wall is a travesty. It used to be considered very bad style to add bolts to an existing route, has that changed? I liked Todd as a person, but his ethics sucked, and those bolts should be removed.
Amazing to see a photo of myself, (Carl Huff) and Eric Beck and Penny Carr and the others at the top of the Dihedral Wall more than 50 years ago. Ed must have forgotten that I spent one abortive morning with him on the bottom part of the wall when he recruited me for belay duty early in the climb. I confess it seems a little strange - though very likely an accurate description - to be called weird by one of the oddest people I have known. Odd in a positive sense. I recall the walk in to the top of El Cap as stunningly beautiful with banks of snow here and there and that sharp pungent smell that comes out of the ground and off the trees when the sun warms the earth. Then the chasm, fantastic, 50 years ago, or today. Finally they topped out and on a perfect morning we all stood around made somewhat mute by the setting and the accomplishment. Or at least that is how I remember it. In any case thanks for posting this as I had no idea such a pic existed, and it does stir long dormant memories.
We both wanted to solo it but were probably too young at the time ( me 19 and not sure of Jerry's age). I wanted to break the 2.5 day record but we forgot the 2 lb. sledge hammer - haha. I tried to solo it in 1975 but got stormed off too early in the year in March. I came back and soloed it in June 1977 ( a year before Bev Johnson soloed it ) in 5.5 days after fixing several pitches. Both times did the West Buttress finish.