Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
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As you stare at this photo of the face of Half Dome and contemplate your 12-hour hike around the backside and to the top, think of Alex Honnold. In September of 2008 he climbed to the top without any aids whatsoever. No ropes, no pitons, no clips, and NO partner. FREE SOLO. Yikes. And he did the climb in less than 3 hours. We have talked about him in the past. I do not climb. I’m not afraid of heights or of falling. It’s that sudden stop that bugs me. You only get one big error in climbing. It takes months of practice and an investment in equipment and classes. Hiking I can fall and wipe the blood off and keep going. Ker-Splat is not recoverable.
The May issue of Outside Magazine has a multi-page article that delves into the mind of 25-year old Honnold. Click <HERE> to go to the link to the article. Or buy a souvenir magazine. If you have seen Alex’s photo or Banff Film Festival video, he looks a bit … well, dorky. Now look at the magazine photo of him hanging by his arms – wow – a lesson in muscle anatomy. No 98-pound weakling here. Some don’t like the apparent reckless “record setting” that is in vogue at Yosemite. I think it’s neat that humans can extend themselves. I’m sure many would have labeled George Anderson’s 1875 work of getting to the top of Half Dome via a hand drilled spike ladder a “stunt.” Climb on Alex and be careful.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Fear is what stops you… courage is what keeps you going.” – A wise old man
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com