Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Nose

          For the past six years the Nose route up El Capitan has consumed my thoughts. Every rock climber has heard of this famous route and most, somewhere in their minds, dream of climbing it. However, big wall climbing is a unique discipline that signifies the "next level" in anybody's climbing career. As much mental strength is needed as physical and commiting to multiple days on the wall is, well... difficult. I spent all winter pouring over route descriptions and stories from this enormous cliff. Although this stood out as one of my life goals, how would I ever pull it all together? First step, move there. If you have never been to Yosemite valley its time to go. El Cap stands over 3,000 feet tall and is remarkably sheer to the ground. Photographs will never do this cliff justice. Rising 3,593 feet from the valley floor and 7,569 feet above sea level this thing is big. Imagine three empire state buildings stacked on top of each other and you might have a sense of this wall's sheerness. Jerome and I packed the haul bag in minor disbelief. We had climbed some shorter routes to train and we had set a date, it was time. In early June we spent three days and two nights on the wall discovering exactly what it takes to climb a wall like this. El Cap turned out to be unbelievably flawless, Intensely committing, and relentlessly terrifying. I am humbled.

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