After an only moderately comfortable, but historically resonant (Robbins, Frost, Choinard and Pratt slept here – it’s like a climbing hall of fame!) night in The Igloo
… it was time “to get this thing done!” Only two pitches back to the land of the horizontal, but the final one is supposed to be the crux of the entire route. C3 or C4 depending on which guide you are using, and plenty of beta on the web to suggest committing cam hooking straight off the belay.
Anyway, before that there’s the no small matter of pitch 26 – yet another zigzagging meander making the most of natural features and avoiding drilled gear wherever possible – a testament to the ethos of the first ascentionists
Bill did a great job of managing the rope drag and the tricky climbing.
The last pitch had been somewhat hanging over me for the last 4 days – it’s not often that the crux pitch comes right at the end of an El Cap route. It was certainly quite intense, with about 8 cam hook moves inbetween tiny cams and bits of brass. The camalot offsets and little totem cams certainly took the sting out of it, and it actually felt fairly relaxed – almost as if the previous 4 days and 26 pitches had been preparation. Anyway, it went, and we were back on top of the Big Stone.
Chuffed to be back in the horizontal..
Only the grungy 3 hour descent stood between us and beer, a shower and pizza!
Beers were excellent – I think even a Bud would have tasted quite acceptable.
The showers were also outstanding…
“Are you guests with us here at Half Dome Village?” “No, but we have just spent 5 nights on El Cap – does that qualify us for a free shower?” “Yeah – go for it”
And the pizza filled a gap too. We’ll sleep well tonight!