Leo Houlding - The Prophet

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Ecco un magistrale scritto di Leo Houlding sull'apertura di The Prophet (El Capitan).

Nel 2001 un 21enne Houlding si lancia con Jason Pickles in un audace, visionario, tentativo di aprire, dal basso, a vista e senza spit, una via in libera su El Capitan.
Ci vorranno "Some 60 days, over five seasons, four partners, two injuries, and a fatal storm", per venire a capo di questa "odissea durata nove anni".

Alcuni dei passi per me più coinvolgenti, divertenti, interessanti, ecc.

We spent one unforgettable session with 12 cans of Old English, two packs of Camel no filters and the legendary Jim Birdwell. Known as a master aid climber, Jim has always been ahead of his time. He has an unrivaled eye for a line and had first-hand experience with our main concern, the Devil’s Brow, a 25-foot roof and hanging corner system two-thirds of the way up the wall. For a brief part of the day a shadow revealed an almost invisible ledge and a potential breach in the Devil’s defenses. Bridwell pointed out this subtle feature, adding, “You kids might be able to do something with that, but be careful up there, boys. It’s a fine line between badass and dumbass.” asd
I climbed up and down the first 15 feet of what would later be the second half of the fourth pitch, re-climbing with more ease each time, until finally I had to make a move I would not be able to reverse. Absolutely committed, I stretched for the distant edge on tiptoes. To my horror it was not the positive matchbox edge I had expected, but was in fact too sloping to hold. My fingers slid from the edge. For a split second the unthinkable flashed though my mind—a factor-two fall onto a marginal belay, and two dead monkeys. Bridwell’s warning glinted menacingly. But with strength born of survival instinct and fortune of faith, my fingers found traction on a more positive edge hidden below my target hold. I stuck it, pulled a couple more hard moves and placed a tiny cam with huge relief. With the fear of imminent death greatly diminished, I followed more hollow flakes up steep rock to a belay.

Spurred by our success and a bomber belay, I continued over severely fractured ground, delicately tip-toeing up the bottomless diagonal groove. I rattled small cams into sandy cracks and behind exfoliating flakes until finally a Walnut 00 lodged in relatively sound rock. Creeping upward with patience and control, I reached a small roof and impassable terrain. I spent ages arranging sketchy protection in the crumbly crack and shaking fatigue out of my arms, but couldn’t see the way ahead.

Just before retreating, I noticed the distinctive scratches of aid climbers out to my left leading toward a hanging arête. I could not see around the corner but the rock quality improved in that direction. Arms well recovered, I smeared across the hanging slab, reaching a foothold and pinch on the arête that was good enough to allow me to recompose. Peering around the corner, I spotted a rusty bolt some 20 feet up and left.

I teetered around the shockingly exposed corner and committed to tiny crimps, and a sequence I knew I could not reverse. Pulling the hardest moves of the route so far, I reached far left to better holds leading to the bolt. But, over-extended, I began to barn door with no way of stopping the ensuing 50-footer. My faith in the “bomber” 00 wire was repaid: it held. With adrenalin surging, I lowered to the belay.

One of the ropes had been core shot on a sharp edge during the ride. We swapped ends and with Jas’s loyal encouragement I found myself once again committed to the crimps. This time I got my feet higher and stuck the better holds. On reaching the aged bolt I found my energy too low and my fear too high to continue.
I tensioned around a corner and found myself at the ultimate high point I had reached in 2001, a little over halfway up the wall. The cams I had lowered off years earlier were still there. In exactly the same spot, I was in a completely different place. I’d become a spectator to the heroics of my youth. (Bellissimo: "Ho fatto una traversata a corda dietro uno spigolo e mi sono trovato al punto più alto che avevo raggiunto nel 2001, appena sopra metà parete. I friend da cui mi ero calato anni prima erano ancora là. Esattamente nello stesso punto, ero in un posto completamente diverso. Ero diventato uno spettatore del mio eroismo giovanile.")
The ensuing 48-hour tempest was the wettest anyone in Yosemite can remember. We were the only team on the wall. For the first 40 hours we rode the turbulent weather with the attitude of seasoned pirates in our four-by-six-foot canvas galleon.

“Argh! Is that all you’ve got!” I screamed at the more vicious gusts of wind.

But when the Southern Comfort ran out, the gusts reached hurricane force and our down sleeping bags were thoroughly soaked, it was no longer funny.

Buona lettura Wink

Messaggi : 430
Data d'iscrizione : 15.03.12

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Leo Houlding - The Prophet :: Commenti


Messaggio il Mer Mag 16, 2012 8:49 am  Beldar

pochi giorni fa hanno passato, con mia grande incredulità, l'intero filmato a deejay TV Shocked Shocked Shocked in prima serata !
Spettacolare !

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Messaggio il Mer Mag 16, 2012 9:15 am  buzz

Veramente un'epopea Shocked

meriterebbe una traduzione (migliore della mia attraverso cui l'ho letto)

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