"I just can't imagine how he stays so calm and makes it look so effortless. "
It might have something to do with the fact that it's at least a full # grade, perhaps 2 below what he can onsight.
It's pretty pitiful to give him sh#t here - he's just 18 - and kicking butt, too. Also this season he linked El Cap and Half Dome in about 19 hours, and on-sighted Cookie Monster on gear. He's working his way up the ladder, doing his time. I think it's pretty cool.
My sense is that there is so much competition out there with these newer kids. Be interesting to see what comes of their activities over the next couple seasons, as they come of age like Caldwell.
This is how I always pictured Kauk, Long and those guys as kids doing what they did. I remember first learning about The Free Nose and Astroman, and picturing guys that were in their 40's....like Harding looking dudes. Then I found out how young they were and I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it.
These new guys...Honnold, Kenedy, etc...are in the same zone it appears. I hope they live through it. Its inspiring and freaky at the same time.
I really believe these guys have no reference for fear. Its like the 13 year old who goes to the Olympics and shreds it, holding their teddy bear on the podium. My wife went to Olympic trials as a kid and had no fear. Four years later the immensity of it was nearly paralyzing.
Thanks for the positive comments. Busy editing so I just caught this thread.
Ed B. - The talent is all Hayden's - he's worked hard and has incredible psyche.
Tami - He's heading back for additional coursework at U of Y in a couple of weeks.
Jingy and others - He's got a healthy sense of what's reasonable and what's not, for him. Still, I do worry about the big runouts sometimes.
Peter H. - He knows how "old-school" the B-Y is. I think it's just starting to dawn on him that "old-school" may be where the future lies.
David H. - Hayden started looking at old issues of Ascent and Climbing and reading stuff out of Games Climbers Play a few years after you met him. Seems like he remembers some of it!
Jeff - If I were still that skinny I'd be able to climb better than 5.9! Hayden was so thrilled to have the chance to hang out with you in Ogden. Magical.
JLP - He's 19 now, just graduated from high school. Didn't onsight Cookie Monster on gear, he did that a couple of years ago with the bolts (and hauled my sorry ass up it) so this year was a repeat. Not sure about the competitive part, he pushes hard but seems pretty genuine in encouraging others.
Yes, I'm biased but what the heck.
Here's where I get to really embarrass the poor kid.
In the video Hayden says Wolfgang Güllich broke his leg after falling. I'm pretty sure that's KNOTT the case:
from "Sea of Domes", by Steve Schneider, Climbing #127, 1991
(as posted by Clint Cummins in the 213-post Bachar-Yerrian???? thread (among posts 61-80):
Germany's Wolfgang Gullich and Thierry Renault of France attempted the route in 1982 as well. Gullich fell on the big runout on pitch one but was saved from decking on the slab by a knob he had tied off [with 5mm cord - he went 30 feet]. Renault's go-for-it attitude on the second pitch resulted in successive falls of 30 [and 60] feet. The two retreated [as Gullich's knuckles and face had been bloodied holding the longer fall]. [corrections from John Bachar's post below]