Trip Report
A month of motivation
Saturday November 24, 2012 2:52am
Speed Demons

A few years ago, I went over to my good friend and climbing mentor Kelly Rich's Yosemite West Cabin for one of the first times. When we walked in there was already a group of people gathered around the dining room table talking and cooking, a regular occurrence at his place I have since found out. At the table, three guys who were fit and strong and clearly climbers, were enthusiastically talking with animated hand gestures. I walked up and listened a minute before they turned to me, introducing myself to all three, I had no idea who I was talking to. I remember wondering "who are these euro guys?" as I listened to them talking about (what I later realized) was spotting the Free Rider line while freeing the Salathe.

So a few months later as I thumbed through Kelly's awesome Climbing Magazine collection I came across issue 254 with Ivo on the cover and the headline article "Speed Demons - Take a visual sprint up El Cap with two big-wall masters." I was intrigued because I just met this guy and had no clue who he was; in fact, I hadn't even really known who the Hubers were. The cover photo looks fast, Ivo's hand is reaching high over head, stretched out, reaching for something, a grim look on his face. Despite the obvious daylight hours of the photo, Ivo's headlamp on his helmet, implying that it is still morning. Below him Ammon McNeely is hanging in his harness, out of focus but clearly busy and in motion, perhaps stacking the rope...

It continues here...

Beak Beak Cam Hook Free Move
Beak Beak Cam Hook Free Move
Credit: hoipolloi

Credit: hoipolloi

Credit: hoipolloi

Also... Drawing The Shortest Straw

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  Nov 24, 2012 - 03:43am PT
Hell yeahhh!! Killing it man, that's quite the Rocktober you just had. Good story & writing too with many sick photos.

Walls in a push, I get it now. That's the way!

  Nov 24, 2012 - 05:13am PT
awesome, Dave!

ha, the speed demons article did the same to me when I read it.

  Nov 24, 2012 - 09:54am PT


Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  Nov 24, 2012 - 10:16am PT

  Nov 24, 2012 - 10:38am PT
Well Dave, you sure out did my frikken October!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow brother, thanks for sharing your ventures to the vert.

Keep getting your vertical on because I believe there might be a day of less than vertical awaiting .....

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob Jensen

A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Author's Reply  Nov 24, 2012 - 11:41am PT
Thanks guys!

Walls-in-a-push is only the way if you want it to be. I love spending time up there, The Reticent Wall was one of the most fun adventures I have ever had on El Cap and we were up there for 6 days.

Mark Hudon also informed me that it is a young mans game, so I just gotta get mine while I still can, I ain't gettin' younger!

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
On the road.
  Nov 24, 2012 - 11:53am PT
I want to be just like you when I grow up, Dave!

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Nov 24, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
sick stuff man, the real juice!


A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Author's Reply  Nov 24, 2012 - 04:52pm PT
Oh contrar Mark, it is us youngin's that want to be like YOU when we grow up!
Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  Nov 24, 2012 - 05:19pm PT
Kickass stuff, Dave.

Social climber
  Nov 24, 2012 - 06:09pm PT
hey there say, hoipolloi...

wow, thanks for the neat share, :)
i bet the pics are neat, too.... :)
tom Carter

Social climber
  Nov 24, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Really cool - yer love for El Cap is showing!! Alright!

Paul Brennan

Trad climber
  Nov 24, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
Very cool writeup. Sounds like you had a good wall season dude! I was looking up at you and Stanhope on the prophet from Zodiac. Looked like ye were having fun!

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
  Nov 25, 2012 - 12:05am PT
Awesome Dave - way to get it done!

Grow up - who wants to grow up!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 25, 2012 - 03:06pm PT
Wow, youu had a great season for shure!!!!!

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:08am PT
There is a ton of stoke behind those links...thanks for posting them up, Dave.

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Nov 26, 2012 - 12:04pm PT
You have had a remarkable couple of years, my friend!

Keep it up!

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Nov 26, 2012 - 12:42pm PT
The monkeys are sending!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Nov 26, 2012 - 01:35pm PT
Beak Beak Cam Hook Free Move

Bonus points!

If you can't do walls in a push go to a place with smaller big walls like red racks or zion.

Next generation will not sleep on El Cap.

Nice report TFPU!

PS: How did u like wet dream denim? I really want to get on it sometime soon.
PSS: thought of a trip to Baffin alone? or with a different partner? That is a must visit place for someone with skills for it..

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Nov 26, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
I remember a few years ago you said to me "I'm gonna just go for it".


A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Author's Reply  Nov 26, 2012 - 01:43pm PT
Vitaly - WDD is an awesome route. It really isn't much harder than the West Face, with the exception of the pitch off Awahnee, which is a bit harder than anything on West Face or The Prow. However, because Todd Skinners 'Wet Lycra Nightmare' free route is right there, you can reach over to a few of the bolts from the corner making it safer and easier.

Alex did the Free variation on that pitch (which is 13d, he didn't do it clean, but it was insane watching him climb out the massive roof at the top), which admittedly changes things a bit from Ammon's previous record, but it is all a game and we chose to play a free climbing aid climbing mixed game. But that was what I was really into in teaming with him, joining hard aid climbing and hard free climbing (the better mix was on Lunar Eclipse, WDD was hard free climbing and easy aid climbing).

Above that the climbing is all c2 and awesome, wildly and insanely steep (one of the most continuously steep walls in Yosemite, I would say). The roof is classic, it scares me every time, although it isn't really hard at all, just plugging fingers to small size cams. It is just disorienting being in the horizontal...

Like Mucci said...I think you should just go for it


Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Nov 26, 2012 - 02:06pm PT
Livin' the life!

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  Nov 29, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Nov 30, 2012 - 01:34am PT
Thank you for the info regarding Wet Denim! And all the best to you in whatever you choose to do on your future climbs!

Trad climber
part Texas, part Oman
  Nov 30, 2012 - 06:21am PT
Dave, you're my hero. Great TR brah.

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Nov 30, 2012 - 09:40am PT
Thanks for the report. I was Kelly's first climbing instructor in 1976 or 77. He was a natural from the get go.

  Dec 5, 2012 - 11:56pm PT
Bump for climbing
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