The main attraction!
Zodiac and the East Buttress in red...
Wanna go climb El Cap?
I lead out on the infamous "Nipple", pitch 10 on Zodiac
Shot from the belay on "the Nipple"
Looking down "the Nipple" pitch
Jacob leading "the Mark of Zorro" pitch 11
Making light of the next pitch wide crack...
That's me... balls deep on the OW and scared!
Jacob leading pitch 15
Go Baby Go!
High on the Cap'n
"please stay dry!!"
Me jugging the final pitch
I've looked at the Zodiac line on El Cap for years from the meadow; this October I had the perfect opportunity to climb it, Jacob's partner bailed after the second pitch due to a traffic jam, and I was recruited to finish the climb. What could be better, food, water, and gear already on the Cap'n waiting...Jacob and I spent three nights and four full days on the great mosaic wall that characterizes Zodiac, an 1800' aid climb of moderate difficulty. We topped out the wall Monday eve with clouds brewing on the front of a huge rainstorm, got off just in time! Life on flat ground never felt so good after being religiously clipped to the cliff for 85 hours.
After three days of rest on the Valley floor, I had sufficiently recovered to climb Astro-boy (the first half of Astro-man to the Harding Slot) with Matt Wells. Excellant! However, I soon got the Camp 4 funk and had to sit out a full week of great weather with muscle aches and low energy...lots of time spent in El Cap Meadow watching friends climbing, as good as resting gets!
Somewhere around this point, my long lost hermano showed up ready to climb. We had an awesome day on The Moratorium-East Buttress link-up, lots of rock! After more rest we were psyched on the West Face of El Cap and ready to launch. The route was more than we had expected and ended up bailing on the second pitch after runout face climbing and sparse protection (original 1/4" bolts still rusting in place!)
The Valley scene was starting to wear me out and I longed for wide open spaces with no rules! I'm on the East side of the Sierra relaxing and soaking in hot springs, gathering energy for the exodus across Nevada and to the great desierto of Southern Utah! See y'all there!!!
Thanks to Karl Baba and Tom Evans for their wonderful images!
Check out their websites...