Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NIAD 5.9 C1, El Cap 8/07

I'm still super stoked! I happen to run into my buddy Corbin slacklining in Camp 4. Immediately we hatch a plan to climb the nose on El Cap, a route neither of us has ever done. We run to the cars before dark sets in, rack up by headlamp and head for the meadow bear boxes for my pre-big wall favorite meal, mac, cheese and tuna. At 5 am we get moving and hike to the base of the nose's scrambling start. We make sure to grab the essentials for any in a day attempt his nalgene bottle (its real special) and the ipod and speakers. We start off from the ground at 7 am.
Since Corbin is a stronger free climber than I he gets the first half of the route and I get the second half because it is more aid climbing. Corbin flies up the pitches arriving at dolt in less than 5 hours. We decide we deserve a break and eat food and listen to tunes for an hour. Then we saddle up and get climbing again, almost immediately we lose a cam and my half aider. Oh well. Corbin leads past the king swing and stops at the ledge before camp4 to switch and brew up again.
After another nearly hour rest hiding from the sun at camp 4 we get moving. I lead off in high spirits, we're flashing El Cap in a day! The pitches slide by and the climbing feels easy. We stop once more on Camp 6 for awhile to enjoy the last ledge before the top. The only thing slowing us down is the god damn 2 10.5 ropes we brought. We couldn't commit to one rope and neither of us had a smaller line. Whatever, just more coiling and shit at belays. We top out at 2 am and stumble around the summit in bare feet before settling in at the trip for a few hours sleep.
We staggered down the east ledges with no shoes in high spirits. That is until Corbin ripped the front of his toe off on a rock. Oh thats why you bring shoes for the descent, now i get it. No I don't. I still don't bring shoes but maybe Corbin will. 17 hours onsite!

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