About a week ago I got back from a long trip. I left Vancouver in late October with Jason Kruk. First up was a mandatory training stop at Beyond the Crux Climbing gym in Kelowna BC. Next, a slideshow in Bend Oregon's InClimb gym. Thanks so much to Victoria Smith for putting that together for us. After that, Jason and I drove down to Yosemite CA.
Above is a shot of Jason on the A5 Traverse pitch on the Golden Gate. The Golden Gate, established by the Huber brothers in 2000, is a wild free line just right of the Salathe. We didn't pre inspect the route, but gleaned as much beta as possible from Mason Kinloch Earle who sent the route this past spring. Mason is the next big thing in big, bad rock climbing- mark my words... Positive, cool and strong as an ox. That kid is the future.
I managed to send it, but almost got shut down on the 12c downclimb early in the route. Jason came achingly close, falling at the very end of the A5 Traverse. There is no guarantees on these El Cap free routes.
I came off El Cap exhausted but exhilarated. The whole experience inspired me to up my game to a new level. I really can't think of anything cooler than El Cap freeclimbing. I just like being way off the ground, trying my best, living and breathing rock climbing.
Here is a picture of Hazel Findlay in the UK, getting ready to lead some 40 foot pitches with two ropes.
Paul McSorley, Jon Walsh and a bottle of Bells Scotch before heading into the Taghia Gorge, Morocco. Stay tuned for an upcoming piece in Gripped about that trip.
A little bit of training inspiration courtesy of Alpinist Magazine, with Yuji's signature on the front.