Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
First, the winner of the 4 FREE permits to hike Half Dome on Saturday June 12 is . . . is . . . John Q. Nobody! I got NO entries – so that is a good sign. It means the hundreds of readers out in blogland ALL have their permits. Or no one could figure out that my April 22 talk is in Santa Rosa. Whatever. I tried. By the way, Reader Karend needs 4 for June 6 and Collette needs 4 for June 18. Holler if YOU have extra. Sorry, I don’t have any for then. So I will give away the June 12 permits at my next REI talk.
Alex Honnold of Sacramento is a true human fly.
In pst blogs I’ve mentioned his September 2008 FREE solo up the face of Half Dome. The first free solo of the Regular Northwest Face. That means big wall climbing with no rope, pitons, parachute, nada but his chalk bag and guts. You slip then and you push up daisies. Honnold is 24 and literally lives in a van. He dropped out of UC Berkeley to focus on climbing. I don’t know why – there’s much money in climbing – just endorsements. It’s not yet an Olympic sport. A free soloist isn’t slowed by a belayer or burdened by the 15 pounds worth of equipment a roped climber carries.
The film of his fete is called First Ascent Alone on the Wall and was shown at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The 24-minute film has not been released but it will be available for purchase in the US as a DVD box set late this summer. I found this version of a teaser <here>. It’s Spanish language, but the video is awesome. And <here> is an American short that lets you see Mr. Honnold at the office. What’s next? El Cap? Only Honnold and Dean Potter seem capable of such a dangerous attempt. Wow. Scary stuff.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The good and tough mountain-climbing flesh is not my final home and I’ll creep out of it and fly free and grow!” – John Muir, 1872
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com