Literally the day I arrived here--- met Tommy in El Cap meadow, and we busted up to the project. The first pitch of the Dawn Wall project would be my first climb in the Valley -- a gnarly, hold less, slick as ice 12b slab. So much for intro. I flashed it, which I was very proud of, and from there it got dramatically harder.
When you round the corner into Yosemite Valley something silently looms overhead in a way I haven't ever quite experienced. El Cap is so freaking massive that it occupies a space in your periphery similar to the sky. A broad larger-than-life wall of stone, splits the horizon far above the trees and dominates the landscape. You can't look away.
A number of years ago I can remember peering up at steep, tall sport crags and literally feeling fearful and anxious. Stressed to imagine anyone ever climbing up something so foreboding and intimidating... and hard. Since then I've learned to not only seek, but love and embrace this quality of cliffs. My first view of El Cap brought about a very similar reaction- the first time I've felt visceral intimidation just from looking at a cliff in over 6 years. It's a powerful piece of granite.
Everyday I'm taking in tons of fresh information - from simply navigating the labyrinth of one-way streets in the valley, to learning new names and faces, to setting up a portaledge, to climbing endless walls of slippery granite. It's been totally awesome. The Valley is a totally magical place, and I'm quickly coming around to it. I think I see many more trips here in my future.
|Boulder sessions when the wall is too hot...|
Stay in touch here, and also on my twitter account -HERE- I'll be posting photos and updates from the wall, and the Valley floor as the season carries on...