Better late than never – here is a short video of our 11:30 hr speed ascent of the Leaning Tower, tied to Andy Kirkpatrick.
This was our last ‘Big Wall’ at the end of the month in Yosemite, and I think its fair to say that it was totally beyond our expectations.
When we sat on the coach that drove through the valley floor and stared up at the countless towering walls, we both considered the many possibilities and opportunities that stood before us. We could go aid climbing, free climbing, bouldering or big walling! Yosemite Valley is big-climbing Mecca, and it makes you consider your ambitions and your limits every day. The walls are so gargantuan, grand, and clean that they can look intimidating and impossible – they remind you how small you are and how hard you’ll have to try. But the climbers in the valley are so endlessly psyched and mindlessly optimistic that they’ll make you believe you can do anything, they’ll tell you to jump over that gap that you never though you could jump.
To “live the dream dude!!”.
When we met Andy, he was one of those people. He gave us an opportunity to try something far beyond our own expectations. Like two men crazed by some infectious psyche disease – we over-enthusiastically agreed. Perhaps he wouldn’t realise we had no idea what we were doing?
As we settled down for 5 hours sleep, underneath North America’s most overhanging big wall, Stefan politely asked ‘So Andy – how do we climb as a 3?’.
Perhaps he did, and that was just part of the challenge.