Monday, October 31, 2011

Moments of Uncertainty

Sonnie, Paul and I just spent 4 days on top of the Prophet tooling around on the upper pitches. Every once in a while I have little moments of "wow, this is awesome!"- climbing the A1 beauty in the dying light, with the whole wall ignited orange, was one of those moments. Sonnie managed to toprope it clean, and I came really close. Then we spent some time throwing ourselves at the 'Devils Dyno', a gigantic 7.5 foot sideways leap to a sidepull flake. After many, many tries I stuck the move. I was ecstatic. Leo is an exceptional dynamic climber (his nickname is Springer). Sonnie figured out a ballistic V10 crimping variation instead.

I like this photo because it captures that moment of uncertainty with big wall freeclimbing. Mulling over sequences, tinkering away, all in the coolest place imaginable.

Check out to see more amazing images from one handsome Italian man. ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Sonnie and I have been in Yosemite for a few days now. We've been fooling around on the top of El Cap, rapping in and inspecting the upper A1 beauty pitch of the Prophet. Leo Houlding and Jason Pickles established the route last year, ending a 9 year quest. First of all, I'd like to say that this pitch is truly hard and insecure. Sending this one is going to be real tough. It's easily the most powerful low-angle pitch I've ever attempted. Extremely fingery, balancy and painful. But aside from the struggles associated with it, the A1 beauty is a real joy to climb on: a curvy, laser cut splitter a stone's throw from the top of the Captain.

I came pretty close to freeing the Arch project in Squamish in early September, but in the end fell short. But I feel like I've got my fighting spirit back, after months of rehab and fear of falling. A big thanks to Sonnie and Scott Milton for trudging back there day after day to belay and film the struggle. Its so critical to have good friends' support when you're trying a pitch at your limit with a potentially hazardous fall.

The temperatures are perfect in Yosemite right now. And we will head back up tomorrow, to resume working the pitch. One of the coolest things about climbing is that we get to try these routes in the most jaw-dropping positions. Way better than playing badminton on an identical court, time after time. WAY better. ;)

Hope everybody's have a great fall.