Thursday, July 21, 2011

“Wings Of Steel”

A 2nd ascent of “Wings of Steel” on El Cap may put an end to the ridicule the first ascensionsts have received over the 29 years since they put the route up. Here’s the story of the recent 2nd ascent. Here’s the story from one of the first ascensionists. They spent 39 days on the wall and because they didn’t follow the rules of the “climbing community” they experience a level of abuse which included:

While we were getting loads to the base of the route, the first two pitches were chopped in the night, and our gear was treated to a large, messy dose of human defecation.  We were threatened with the destruction of my car, maiming, and death.

With the route chopped and effectively erased, we were forced to spend a month ascending the Ranger hierarchy to even get permission to do the climb.  Once we finally got on the route again, teams of climbers ascended the nearby Aquarian Wall route so that they could get above us to ‘bomb’ us with trash and bags filled with human defecation.”

I can hardly imagine feeling so angry at other climbers doing something I wouldn’t do, that I would poop on their ropes and throw poop at them. Isn’t that what monkeys do in zoos? Doesn’t that make you proud to be part of the climbing community?

They used over 150 hook placements as shown hereto climb this 1200 foot slab. I like the description below of what happened when they place these hooks.

Many of these hooks could be counted to chip slightly downward as they seated into the flake, which would basically cause our hearts to stop.  But, we found that rapid gasping, coupled with the adrenaline surge, would restore heart function.”