One sure way to get a lot of hits on this blog is to mention Alex Honnold. There I did. (The Bots like it.) But it’s well deserved. You may recall that Alex is the man who loves to go vertical without any ropes or safety support. It’s called FREE climbing. In 2008 he went up the face of Half Dome this way in under 3 hours. Wow.
So on May 18, Alex and Tommy Caldwell free climbed (as a team) up the south face of Mt. Watkins, the Free Rider route on El Capitan, and then the Regular Northwest Face on Half Dome, in a total of 21 hours 15 minutes, from the foot of Watkins to the summit of Half Dome. That’s a total of about 7,500 feet.
They began at 4:45 in the afternoon at the base of Mt Watkins in Tenaya Canyon (across from Half Dome). When at the top, the walked an hour to Tioga Road where Caldwell’s wife drove them to El Cap. They then headed up at 10:45 pm and got to the top at 5 am. That’s in the dark…holy cow. They then walked down the East Ledges of El Cap to the valley and drove over to the drove back to the Mirror Lake Trailhead and hiked up the Death Slabs approach to Half Dome, then began to go up the famous Northwest Face route at 9 a.m. They reached the top at 2 p.m. on May 19.
I’m tired just reading this. Not me, I’ll do the 12-hour Half Dome hike and then take a nap. A tip of the hat to Honnold and Caldwell. Be careful guys.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll. But listen closely. (Not for very much longer.) I’ve got to keep control. I remember doing the Time Warp. Drinking those moments when the blackness would hit me. And the void would be calling. Let’s do the Time Warp again.” – Rocky Horror Picture Show
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com