Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
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While at the park last weekend, I attended the film “Return to Balance: A Climber’s Journey” in the Visitor Center Theater. $6.00. Ron Kauk is a major Big Wall climber who is on hand at each showing to introduce it and answer questions.
He began climbing at a very young age and made the first free ascent of the east face of Washington Column. His group renamed the route Astroman This route was known as the hardest long free route in Yosemite Valley for over 10 years. Kauk doubled for Sylvester Stallone in the movie Cliffhanger. Later he trained Tom Cruise for Mission: Impossible II’s climbing scenes. The movie is in 1080i High Definition and is eye candy. Great music too. It chronicles his life on the big walls and he communicates an environmental message that we are all connected. The only complaint is that he is seen drinking from the streams and filling a bottle directly. Hmmm, maybe he’s immune to Giardia, but impressionable youth might take his lead and drink untreated water. I bought his book and a copy of the DVD.
Sad times – seeing Half Dome in my rear view mirror.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I whould just explode and perish.” – Charles Dickens
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com