Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Drawing The Shortest Straw

In October when Sky Detray, Cheyne Lempe and I climbed The Shortest Straw, Tom Evans was able to capture many spectacular shots.  On this route Tom snapped so many shots of us, really painting a picture of the entire route as we move upwards. It is always fun to look through the photos and remember each moment of the day.  

Climbing any El Cap route, in any style, is always an amazing experience, and pushing a route in a day is no different.  Standing at the base, looking up at the massive wall towering above and the realization that, hopefully, in less than 24 hours you will be standing on the summit is always an intimidating feeling.  Once the climbing begins and the rhythm is found, it's as if time slows as the climbing reveals itself.  Despite the quickness of moving up the wall there are always little things you notice, the peregrine swooping overhead, hawks circling far above the summit, swifts darting in and out of cracks and corners nearby, frogs croaking hundreds of feet away from you, patterns and shapes in the grain of the granite.  Whether you are on the route for 12 hours or 12 days, I always find the little things, feel the energy of El Cap. If you don't notice these things, you are missing out, because that is what it's all about, as I like to say. 

The previous speed record on the Straw was set by Russ Metrovich, Eric George, and Brett Dodds in 17 hours 52 minutes; we topped out in 12 hours 20 minutes, just after the sun set.
 
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Looking
 
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