This is big – Alex Honnold FREE CLIMBS El Capitan at Yosemite.

REAL BIG. For those that are new to the Wonderful World of Yosemite – welcome.

El Cap is the largest exposed piece of granite on planet earth. Bigger than those monsters you see in Norway. It is unbroken – a giant ancient magma Pluton that cooled and hardened under intense pressure while it was under miles of dirt thousands of years ago. It turned into granite. With erosion, the rock was cut by Glacier action and sits overlooking the 3,000 ft valley.

Yosemite's El Cap

El Capitan – free solo by Alex Honnold

The Ahwahneechee natives called it “The Chief” – aka The Captain (white man’s term. While Half Dome is the signature landmark of the park, El Cap is the world climbing mecca. At 3,000 feet above the meadow, it has been a target for men and women for decades.

Listen – I am NOT a climber and do not want to be perceived as a poser……I do admire them. I can’t do what they do.   My passion is Half Dome.

It used to take DAYS to get to the top. Using pitons, anchors, ropes and grit. They hauled up 70-pound bags full of their stuff. Everything that goes up…has to come down in the bag.  No pee or poop is allowed to freefall down. (Whew).

So last weekend, Alex Honnold made it to the top in a hair below 4 hours. Bottom to top…with NO ropes or aids of any kind. No protection…just a bag of chalk to keep his fingers dry. Think about it. Cramming his fingers into slots half the diameter of his phalanges.

Granite is prefect for climbing. An igneous rock, it is very strong and does not flake off (look at your kitchen counter). Up he goes – last Saturday alone at 6:30 am. The outrageous crowds over Labor Day have gone and all this is kept secret – no gawkers to pressure him. Filmed by National Geographic and photos by Tom Evans, he made it. We’ll see it soon in the NG magazine, then the documentary. Alex did the impossible.

Back Story:  Honnold gets up Half Dome in record time

Oh, he’s also gone up the face of Half Dome a bit faster than my 11-hour hike …. He free solo’d up that in less than 2 hours.

A tip of the Tilley hat to Alex and his spirit of adventure.

Live – don’t exist.


Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Don’t dream it – be it” – Rocky Horror Picture Show”
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


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B U L L E T I N ……… Half Dome Cables will be up June 2

B U L L E T I N    

Half Dome Cables will be up June 2

2 day mini-lottery open May 31. Use this if you missed earlier due to snow.


Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Just Do it!!!!” – Nike
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

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Plowing in Sierra full bore – but access to Yosemite from east limited

If you are heading to Yosemite from the east in the next few weeks, you will have a hard time.  ALL the major passes are still closed. CalTrans is working to clear the record snows, but it may not be unitl mid-June or even July until the passes are open.

Tioga Pass is being worked, but you’ll probably need to get on I-80 and go thru Sacramento and down 99 to 120 and go east into the park. This is a L O N G trip. You will get to  meet a lot of your friends whilst waiting in long lines to get into the park. Remember that the Big Oak Flat Road is still gnarled and slow going.

Check out this YouTube on the plowing of passes.

truck plowing snow

Snowpack in the Sierra

Wheres the road?

Tioga Rd (Hwy 120) plowing plan.

Carpe Diem!

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me. Town to keep me movin’ – Keep me groovin’ with some energy. Well, I talk about it, talk about it, Talk about it….Talk about movin…Won’t you take me to Funkytown”  – Lipps, Inc.
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

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