Freerider 5.12D

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Tommy Caldwell Free Climbs The Nose and Freerider-in-a-day
Tuesday September 29, 2009 8:43pm
Taft Granite, tonalite, El Capitan Granite, North America Diorite, and...
Taft Granite, tonalite, El Capitan Granite, North America Diorite, and hybrids. The One and Only. The 104 million-year-old Big Stone. 1998
Credit: Bryan Law

On October 30-31, Tommy Caldwell free climbed both The Nose and Freerider in a combined time of 23 hours and 23 minutes. It was an astonishing accomplishment. The only person other than Tommy ever to free climb The Nose in a day was Lynn Hill almost twelve years ago. Tommy “warmed up” for this event when he free climbed The Nose a few weeks ago with his wife Beth Rodden and then climbed the route a few days later in 12 hours. Needless to say, nobody had ever free climbed The Nose and free climbed another El Cap route in less than a day.

Tommy started October 30 at 1:03am and cruised up The Nose in 11 hours with his wife Beth Rodden, who belayed and jumared. "The weather was perfect" said Caldwell. "The temperatures were crisp and the wind was so calm your voice echoed off the rock." On the crux 5.14a Changing Corners pitch he took two short falls before sending the pitch on his third go. After a few minutes of food and rest on the summit, he ran down the East Ledges descent and was back in El Cap Meadow just before 1pm.

I was his belayer/jumarer for the second leg of the link-up. We started up the Freerider at 1:36pm in perfect fall weather with temps in the low 60's and a slight breeze. On the first pitch, and for the next 28 pitches, it was hard to tell that he had just climbed The Nose that morning. He showed little fatigue and it was impossible to tell when he was doing a hard move. Every move he made looked like 5.7. I felt like I was belaying him on The Nutcracker.

The first 10 pitches took two hours. We got to the Monster Offwidth (Pitch 19 just below El Cap Spire) just as the sun was setting. The wall was bright orange and as he left the belay he assured me that this pitch was actually going to be a little strenuous for him. I guess he was true to his word, because he made this 5.11 offwidth nightmare look like 5.9 (unlike the first 19 pitches that all looked like 5.7).

Below us, we watched Dean Potter speed up the route five pitches below us. He was going for a one-day free ascent of The Salathé Wall. Over on The Nose, Thomas Huber was making a multi-day free attempt with four support crew (Ivo, Ammon, and some buddies doing their first big wall). At that moment, there were four parties on El Cap, three of which were making free ascents. Seems that these days you are noteworthy if you are the ones NOT making a free ascent of El Cap!

On El Cap Spire, we put on the headlamps and started the night-climbing leg of the push in crisp 50 degree weather with no wind. Two pitches higher, for the first time on the climb, I saw Tommy really exert himself. It was the section where you have to do a V6/V7 boulder problem on holds that all seem to face the wrong direction. For a brief second he made the route really look like its 5.12c rating. A minute later he was at the belay and we were onto the next pitch. I guess even the best climbers can look a little tired on V7 after climbing 5000 feet.

So what’s the demeanor of one of the best free climbers in the world when he is pulling off one of the biggest free climbing achievements of his life? One might expect Zen-like concentration to pull through such a demanding day. Or maybe he would be shouting and screaming like you see a lot of top boulderers do to pull through V15 problems. Not Tommy. He just seemed like he was having a day out at the crags. There was no rushing of either the climbing or the belay changeovers. We even burned some time talking about home improvement. He felt the best way to organize a 1900 square foot house was with three bedrooms and a loft. I wondered if it was best just to convert the loft to a fourth bedroom.

Below The Sewer pitch he paused a minute to quiz me, “So Chris, why, after so many El Cap ascents, have you still not free climbed it?” Believe me Tommy, if I could make 5.12 look like 5.7, I would be free climbing everything right there with you.

On Pitch 28, Tommy took a fall. He had just started up the overhanging, flaring 5.12b crack when he took a short five-foot fall onto a fixed nut. I was shocked because up until that point it didn’t seem like he could fall even if he wanted to. Gravity just didn’t seem to work on him the same way it does with the rest of us. He pulled the rope, tied back in, and started up again. This time he laybacked the crack that he had previously tried to straight-in jam. He got about six feet higher than his first go and then fell again.

At this point, we both got a little nervous. Hanging from the rope, he said in a slightly frustrated tone, “This pitch was so easy the other day.” I reminded him that he had climbed over 5500 vertical feet of rock that day. It was okay to feel a little tired. But it turned out that it wasn’t so much that he was tired as it was the fact that he wasn't used to climbing this pitch in the dark. He realized that he always stemmed this pitch on micro edges and they were not as obvious at night. He ticked a few footholds with chalk, lowered back to the belay, and pulled the rope. I knew that if he sent this pitch, he had the route.

He sent the pitch and, sure enough, he continued cruising the route to the summit. We topped out at 12:26am, 10 hours and 50 minutes after starting. On the summit we were met with hugs, congratulations, and SoCo from great friends Beth Rodden, Kim Miller, Corey Rich, Josh Lowell, and Adam Stack. We joked that while Tommy did look tired, he didn't look nearly as worked as someone should after 6000 feet of hard free climbing.I said, "Tommy, there are still 37 minutes left in the day, want to try and free climb something else? I think we could find you a boulder problem up here. Or maybe some pull-ups? Push-ups?"

It was an amazing day. Not only did Tommy pull off something I don't think anyone else had considered possible, he did it with a level of calm and casualness I've only experienced on 4th class terrain. A few pitches below the top he told me, "This has been one of my biggest free climbing goals but i didnt think i could do it. I can't believe I am up here and it's happening." It was an astonishing comment considering he was making this link-up his first try. It reminded me of his comment some time ago that he thought the Free Dihedral Wall was going to take a few years to work. That climb is the most difficult El Cap free route and probably the hardest big wall free climb in the world. Tommy climbed it on his first attempt, after only months of working the route.

What will Tommy Caldwell do when he picks a big wall goal that really does take a few years and many attempts to accomplish?

Udated 9.27.09 - here is Tommy's Next Project - A Free Ascent of Mescalito http://www.supertopo.com/Trip_Report/working_of_the_first_free_ascent_of_Mescalito


Here is the rack Tommy Brought:

1 each Black Diamon Camalot C3
2 each .75"- 2.5" Black Diamond Camalot C4
1 # 3 Black Diamond Camalot C4
1 # 4 Black Diamond Camalot C4
1 # 6 Black Diamond Camalot C4
4 Black Diamond Stoppers
8 Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw
6 Shoulder Length Slings
Black Diamond Padded Gear Sling
Black Diamond Ozone Harness (i think)
1 Spectra Daisy Chains
La Sportiva Men's Exum Pro Boot
La Sportiva Miura Climbing Shoes
Blue Water 10.2 mm Eliminator Rope


And the gear I used
Purple T Shirt from Tom Evans (he said I wasn't wearing bright enough colors)
Sickle Climbing Pants
Sickle Mountain Pant - Men's
Petzl Sama Harness
Petzl Grigri
Metolius Monster Daisy Chain
Yates Big Wall Ladder
Petzl Ascension Ascender
Five Ten Camp Four Approach Shoe

  Trip Report Views: 4,617
Chris McNamara
About the Author
Climbing Magazine once computed that three percent of Chris McNamara’s life on earth has been spent on the face of El Capitan—an accomplishment that has left friends and family pondering Chris’ sanity. He’s climbed El Capitan over 70 times and holds nine big wall speed climbing records. In 1998 Chris did the first Girdle Traverse of El Capitan, an epic 75-pitch route that begs the question, “Why?”

Outside Magazine has called Chris one of “the world’s finest aid climbers.” He’s the winner of the 1999 Bates Award from the American Alpine Club and founder of the American Safe Climbing Association, a nonprofit group that has replaced over 5000 dangerous anchor bolts. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and serves on the board of the ASCA, and Rowell Legacy Committee. He has a rarely updated adventure journal, maintains BASEjumpingmovies.com, and also runs a Lake Tahoe home rental business.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
10b4me

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 12:39am PT
awesome
WBraun

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 12:40am PT
Yes amazing, one is left speachless ........
Loom

climber
Neither here nor there.
  Nov 1, 2005 - 12:41am PT

! ! !

JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:00am PT
Historic. The greatest feat of rock climbing ever performed!!!

I do not say that lightly. This guy is the Greatest.

Its like Spitz winning seven gold medals in the Olympics.

Or Armstrong winning all the Tour de France.

Or Tiger Woods.

Or even Armstrong Landing on the moon.

Or Lindburg flying across the Atlantic.

Or pitching a perfect game. Then ten more in a row!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Juanito


James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:16am PT
So the stubbed finger man does it again. I'm jealous. I'll be training harder.

Thanks for the inspiration.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:22am PT
wow...

I climb maybe three hard ptches and I'm done.

Fantastic achievement Tommy!
Corey Fields

Trad climber
Texas
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:43am PT
Awesome, the guy is sick! Thanks for the report.
poop_tube

Big Wall climber
33° 45' N 117° 52' W
  Nov 1, 2005 - 02:38am PT
NOT HUMAN!!!
seamus mcshane

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 06:36am PT
Absolutely incredible!!! Immortality is now defined by this achievement!!!
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
  Nov 1, 2005 - 06:53am PT
wow--makes a bunch of old posers quibbling about style elsewhere on the forum look pretty silly.

Congrats to Tommy, and Beth too, for their climbs!

nice TR, too, Chris-
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 07:33am PT
Impressive, most impressive.
And with that, TC becomes the best freeclimber in history.
Let's see how long this stands.
Spleen, are you hearing this?...
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
  Nov 1, 2005 - 08:37am PT
What an exciting read! I haven't been to Yosemite yet, but I was imagining myself right there(watching from the ground, like most everyone else, of course). It must have felt so great, to be on that climb, and I wonder if that moment when you noted all the other prominent climbers on the wall, it wasn't one of those "Life is just grand" moments.

Congratulations to Tommy for his acheivement, and for shattering the records and upping the stakes.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  Nov 1, 2005 - 09:03am PT
Incredible.
up2top

climber
Phoenix, AZ
  Nov 1, 2005 - 10:07am PT
That absolutely blows me away. Chris, it must have been a thrill to be a part of the event. Thanks for the first-hand account.

Ed
bestbefore

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 10:19am PT
Incredible indeed!

Please excuse my being (apparently) so totally out of the loop, but can someone tell me when the Nose was freed by anyone other than Madame Hill? I didn't realize that anyone else had put it all together...I guess I really should read those climbing magazines more often!
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Nov 1, 2005 - 10:24am PT
Tommy and his wife Beth put it together earlier this fall.
randomtask

climber
North fork, CA
  Nov 1, 2005 - 10:26am PT
Next week I'll rappell two el cap routes in a day. That'll show Tommy. The guy's amazing.
-JR
poop*ghost

Trad climber
Denver, CO
  Nov 1, 2005 - 10:50am PT
That's so phenominal that it's hard to imagine. The skill, strength and determination that TC has is otherworldly.

BTW - it's total BS that Chris Mac couldn't pull off free rider... he just likes pulling on gear!

jason liebgott
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Nov 1, 2005 - 11:06am PT
TC Rocks (a priveledged glimpse into the obvious).

How'd Potter do?

Mike.

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 11:16am PT
Incredible and inspiring. Thanks for the report, Chris. A job well done!

It's quite a statement that a climber can ropegun for the likes of Chris, Hans, Beth, et cetera. Totally badass. TC is at the top of his game...or is he yet?

Go, Tommy!
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
  Nov 1, 2005 - 12:49pm PT
Most excellent report, Chris.
Joshua8200

Trad climber
Chapel Hill, NC
  Nov 1, 2005 - 12:50pm PT
I'm going to be attempting a repeat of this awesome feat ( ;-) in about a million years). I'm just wondering if someone can post a break down of the free grades for each of the pitches on the two routes.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:01pm PT
Man, Tommy is on fire.
yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:27pm PT
Well fuсk me good.

What about three free in a day? Who wants it?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
  Nov 1, 2005 - 01:59pm PT
Would the East Buttress Of El Cap count?
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Nov 1, 2005 - 02:31pm PT
freaking amazing, thanks for the report Chris.
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
  Nov 1, 2005 - 03:06pm PT
Amazing achievement. The sky really is the limit ... Must be Beth's turn to do the Nose in a day now!
avitripp

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 04:24pm PT
Michael Jordan is the Tommy Caldwell of Basketball....Pele is the Tommy of Soccer....that is probably the one of the single greatest athletic achievements in history...whats next?
Chico

Trad climber
Mt. Shasta, CA
  Nov 1, 2005 - 06:11pm PT
Ay Caramba! Tommy esta en fuego!
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
  Nov 1, 2005 - 06:38pm PT
Amazing achievement. Guy is a freak.

But sweet Jesus Juan, get a grip. I think Lindbergh flying the Atlantic is a hell of a lot bigger than some dude free climbing some pre-established wall routes.

Get some perspective. It's the greatest FREE climbing feat ever. But NOT the greatest climbing feat ever. As soon as Tommy wants to start scoping wall routes and risking his life putting up some A5 wall routes on FA, then I'll put him in the Michael Jordan "best climber ever" file. He's the best FREE climber. But climbing has been around a hell of a lot longer than Tommy, there's plenty of great feats that had the internet been around, it would have got a lot more play. It's the immediacy of his achievement and all of us immediately knowing about it and fawning over it that helps add to it.

Ugh....game on now for every monkey now to free something on El Cap. You thought the fixed lines were bad now.
Bryce Breslin

climber
Oakland, California
  Nov 1, 2005 - 07:44pm PT

I'd be really curious to know what he took along for a rack.

Last weekend my partner and I racked tons to climb 9 pitches, Serenity to Sons - I'll bet we took more weight in gear for a moderate 9 than this man did for +/- 60 pitches?? Grim...

I'd also wager that I probably brought more cams up Lunatic Fringe - one pitch - than Caldwell did for this feat.

I'm still trying to grasp this: leading 60 pitches in a day. Does anyone know how many of those are 5.11 or above? 5.12 or above?

My hat is off, and I'm stupefied.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Nov 1, 2005 - 07:54pm PT
The rack:

1 each really small cams
2 each .75"- 2.5" (small blue camalot to gold gold camalot)
1 # 3 (the blue camalot)
1 # 4 (the gray camalot)
1 # 6 (the really big green camalot)

4 stoppers (but i dont think he placed a single one)

8 draws

6 long slings

1 60m 10mm rope
WBraun

climber
  Nov 1, 2005 - 07:55pm PT
That sounds about right. (rack above)
vegastradguy

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
  Nov 1, 2005 - 08:04pm PT
i still am having trouble fathoming this...simply amazing.

whats really amazing is that Tommy, in real terms, is still just a kid!

imagine what he might do in the decades to come!
Bryce Breslin

climber
Oakland, California
  Nov 1, 2005 - 09:00pm PT

Outrageous!! I did take more up Lunatic Fringe. What can you mean, Werner, sounds right?!! I love it - I absolutely love it. No sarcasm, no cynicism: I'm just astounded and in awe. And inspired to lighten my racking - christ.

Thanks for the info - crystalizes the magnitude of Caldwell's climbing that day.

Four nuts!
Mick Ryan

Trad climber
The Peaks
  Nov 1, 2005 - 09:46pm PT
Thanks for the report Chris.

We got it up on UKClimbing.com pronto.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/

Limey Bastard
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  Nov 1, 2005 - 10:47pm PT
Wow.
Thanks for the story.

The guy is a real soul climber.
NinjaChimp

climber
someplace in-between
  Nov 1, 2005 - 11:45pm PT
Holy freaking crap! Talk about setting the bar.

You know what is so cool about this (aside from the obvious)? Tommy (and beth for that matter) is quite possibly the most humble climber I know. Not only that, but he's the last guy to criticize anothers person's style.

Hats off dude, well done.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
  Nov 2, 2005 - 10:18am PT
"Not only that, but he's the last guy to criticize anothers person's style.


Funny how that works, isn't it?

Stainless

Social climber
SLC, UT
  Nov 2, 2005 - 11:26am PT
Amazing. Even for Tommy. My biggest congratulations. Friggin' fantastic!

Doesn't a magazine coin someone "Climber of the Year"?

I'd say it's sewed up this year.

BTW - I have video footage of Tommy and Beth on their first look at The Nose. Might sell it for the right price. How much you got?-JK

Tommy, on a curosy attmept of the Great Roof (we were up there for something else), said, quite nonchalantly, "it's all there." Beth, on the other hand, was gobsmacked by the Changing Corners. First saying, "I can't get onto the rock." And finishing with "Next time maybe. If I train harder."

Really cool stuff.

Think I'll go train now....
stuey

climber
  Nov 2, 2005 - 11:31am PT
most impressive- he gets an A
ShaneR

Mountain climber
USA
  Nov 2, 2005 - 12:39pm PT
J.C.!!
Jimmy Jam

Big Wall climber
Naples, Florida
  Nov 2, 2005 - 02:13pm PT
The only thing he hasn't done on El Cap is appear in a "David Lee Roth" video.
Slick

Trad climber
under a rock in Washington
  Nov 2, 2005 - 06:39pm PT
Tommy possesses an amazing array of stamina, technique and good judgement. I hope he some day shares his wealth with the "little" climbers of the world. Well done man! I can't even imagine.
THE MAD BOLTER

Big Wall climber
CARLSBAD, NM
  Nov 2, 2005 - 07:53pm PT
Great accomplishment!!!
Just thought you might like this info.:
I was born 1936
first to rappel El Cap in 1969
36 years later, at age 69, doing it again for the 26th time.
that was sept 9 this year. We met Huber bros on the way down.
I also run marathons (26+miles)
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Nov 2, 2005 - 08:46pm PT
wow you are amazing too, infact you deserve your very own thread on SuperTopo.com!
Q

climber
SLC
  Nov 2, 2005 - 09:51pm PT
Damn, we were around the corner on LF the whole time and were totally oblivious. We thought we were the only ones up there...
booley

Trad climber
fullerton,ca
  Nov 3, 2005 - 01:15am PT
Just when you think 5/15 is aproachable some has to fly by while your standing still Great job Tommy !!!!!
luca

Trad climber
milano italy
  Nov 3, 2005 - 02:37am PT
tommy makes the dreams became reality, like all the climbers (and all the men) who fairly pushed the limits in the past. I really enjoied for his performance and his coyness.
luca
TradIsGood

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
  Nov 3, 2005 - 07:52am PT
What's the rush? It's not like The Nose or Freerider was going anywhere. Kind of like having sex in 60 seconds.
polishbob

climber
Bellingham, WA
  Nov 3, 2005 - 12:12pm PT
i have a very specific question re this ascent. just for a historical record i would like to find out about how the time was checked- with a stop watch ot a regular watch. the reason i wanted to ask this question is simple. the date of the climb was on the day of the time change, so there was an extra hour.
"Tommy started October 30 at 1:03am and cruised up The Nose in 11 hours with his wife Beth Rodden, who belayed and jumared."
the time change starts at 2 am, the clocks stop for 1 hour.
i am not trying to diss any of it, the climb speak for itself, just interested in this detail.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Nov 3, 2005 - 12:32pm PT
This is a very cool milestone. Congratulations to Caldwell.

Very nice trip report, Chris. Spot on.

The only sad part is that I had come to like that fact that Lynn Hill's all free ascent of the Nose in the style she did it had not been surpassed for the past 13 years. I know that everything always passes, but her ascent was so stellar, the long wait made it all the more valuable.

It is pretty cool that Caldwell passed it in such a convincing way.

(PS: Did I tell you that I fell on the upper pitches of the Salathe about 34 years ago? Twice. I also got nervous. Let's see.....so far that is the only thing I can find in common with Caldwell's ascent. Another world, for sure.)

TL,C, Roger

Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
  Nov 3, 2005 - 12:54pm PT
don't worry roger, when Caldwell does the Dihedral in a day, it will probably stand for another 13 years or so
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Nov 3, 2005 - 01:02pm PT
Yeah, I know. But it is mind boggling.

Thiry-five years ago:

"Let's drive down to the Captain and do a couple of free climbing routes? I'll lead."

Now:

"Let's drive down to the Captain and do a couple of free climbing routes? I'll lead."

To the untrained eye, it looks as if nothing as changed.
youri

climber
  Nov 3, 2005 - 04:27pm PT
Wow!

Climb on! Thanks for the story!

Yann
Dire Wolf

Trad climber
Fresno
  Nov 3, 2005 - 10:41pm PT
Hearing about this made me cry.

Amazing.

Zazen

Big Wall climber
czech republic
  Nov 4, 2005 - 11:09am PT
I am dreeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaming, bite me! J.C.'s ressurected and is a climber! Sure this HYPER SUPER MEGA-climb is a on higher level than just walking on water:-) Next time I'll climb on El Cap, I'll climb just behind T.C. to benefit from the suction effect (You know as on the F1 races...) it seem's it could help.
Find_Christ

Trad climber
San Diego
  Nov 6, 2005 - 08:19pm PT
Wow,

Very impressive. I can't stop smiling. What a wonderful accomplishment.

Congratulations Tommy.
Corey Fields

Trad climber
Texas
  Nov 6, 2005 - 08:40pm PT
"What's the rush? It's not like The Nose or Freerider was going anywhere. Kind of like having sex in 60 seconds."

No, I'd say it's more like having two orgasms in 60 seconds.
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
  Nov 7, 2005 - 12:13pm PT
This is an incredible example of endurance and technical ability!

I feel like we were all just Wilbur and Orville Wright that afternoon back in the seventies when we wandered up to the terraces without our aid slings. Some of us may have had higher aspirations but for myself we were just goofing off in the playground. To witness this evolution is cool let’s call like it really is, 22 hours of multiple organisms!

TC et al, my hats off to you!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Nov 7, 2005 - 10:14pm PT
Hello, it that you Mike?

Welcome to ST land.

All the best, Roger
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
  Nov 8, 2005 - 09:11am PT
Roger, how you doing?

People still ask me about our little Phantom pinnacle route. (Mostly want to know where the hell it is!) good memory! Still see Bridwell quite often.

This is all so amazing isn’t it. I understand you can even top rope the Captain, by yourself if you feel so inclined. You got to admit that’s pretty cool. If you’re in to that sort of thing. I think would be...

Thanks for the note, I enjoy those “Freeblasts” from the past!

mg
Blinny

Trad climber
I'mNotBlanchard!
  Nov 8, 2005 - 10:38am PT
Gramicci? As in Mike Graham?

Is that REALLY YOU?

Whoa!

I've been wondering if you would ever surface here! If it's REALLY you, I'm stoked!

Welcome to the Deli. . . errrr, I mean TheTaco!

Kathy (used to be Brockman, back in the dirt. . . errr. . . I mean "TheDay.") - MissusBlinny
http://blanchardguitars.com/
Terry

climber
Spokane
  Nov 8, 2005 - 10:59pm PT
I'm stunned. Can't fathom what he just accomplished. I called my climbing partner and he insisted it had to be a hoax. Been trying to find the words and examples to explain to my wife just how amazing an accomplishment this is and I'm failing miserably.

Wow!!
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
  Nov 8, 2005 - 11:44pm PT
Kathy, Thanks for remembering! It is I

I really love where this site has gone, its better than the news channel. The stuff these young lads are doing these days is amazing. I’ll stay tuned.

Looks like you live in a beautiful area, with a lot of cool guitars. Dog’s country by the look of the photo.

All the best!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Nov 8, 2005 - 11:57pm PT
Hi Mike:

Good to hear from you. The whole El Cap free is pretty unreal to me, much less the Nose and Salathe in a day. (Obviously, Chris and Beth are light for having to swing seconding:-)

When Lynn Hill climbed the Nose, she came to Cleveland--the center of the climbing world, as you well know--with the touring slide show. I took my daughters who were about 10 and 12 years old. As she was describing the preparations, I was taken aback by the whole idea of rapping down to work on the hard pitches, wiring the route. I didn't have a problem with it. I was just surprised at the effort, and surprised that she was treating the Captain the way Ray used to treated short crack climbs.

I knew it was a different world.

It is sort of strange to see so much change in such a short time. I sort of accept changes in technology as a given, but this is just improved skill.

Speaking of skill, I still think that your on sight leads of Phantom pinnacle were stellar. We climbed lucky, being able to pick off such a nice crack system. Of course if you hadn't been our rope gun, it would have taken me all season. I wrote up our ascent a while back: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=24253#msg24338

ST can be a real trip staying up on the current news, meeting the new climbers, and dipping into old memories. Glad you are here.

Hope all is well with you, Roger
Blinny

Trad climber
I'mNotBlanchard!
  Nov 9, 2005 - 01:36pm PT
Mike!

Thanks for remembering me, too!

My time in the dirt with you guys was the most amazing time of my life! Through some cosmic twist of fate my life collided with you guys and I was forever changed. . . for the better. I kind of liken it to dumb girl gets to run with the big dogs! (Speaking of Dog's country)

:-)

Yeah. . . it's beautiful up here. . . and Blanchard's guitars are a never ending source of enlightenment. If you ever head this way, we'd love to show you around!

Keep the MAGIC alive!

Kath
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Sep 29, 2009 - 08:44pm PT
I just updated this with more detailed rack beta (scroll to the bottom of the first post to see)
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 9, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
Eight years later bump.

Honnold on the triple and this feat right here.
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El Capitan - Freerider 5.12D - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
Photo: Mark Kroese
Other Routes on El Capitan
El Capitan - The Nose 5.14a or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
The Nose, 5.14a or 5.9 C2
El Capitan
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The Nose—the best rock climb in the world!
El Capitan - Zodiac A2 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Zodiac, A2 5.7
El Capitan
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1800' of fantastic climbing.
El Capitan - Salathe Wall 5.13b or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Salathe Wall, 5.13b or 5.9 C2
El Capitan
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The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
El Capitan - Lurking Fear C2F 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Lurking Fear, C2F 5.7
El Capitan
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Lurking Fear is route number 1.
El Capitan - East Buttress 5.10b - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
East Buttress, 5.10b
El Capitan
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East Buttress with top of The Nose on left.
More routes on El Capitan