Five days in the wall and only 12th free repetition of "El Nino"
After seven years, I had the opportunity to see the Mecca of traditional climbing, the Yosemite Valley, again. Together with Christian Fascendini we had the main goal of climbing "El Nino" (5.13c, A0) on El Capitan. This 30-pitch route still has only a few repetitions, even after 20 years, and is still one of the toughest in the Valley.
Since the weather forecast was stable, we entered the route immediately after reaching the Valley. My goal was to climb all the key pitches at the first end of the rope and RP. Other pitches we climbed alternately, the pitches that should have come out to Christian I also wanted to climb freely and at a stretch. The key part of the route is its first third. There are three hard pitches in difficulty 5.13 there. The other four key pitches are regularly scattered across the rest of the wall. Climbing this route resembles our hard sandstone routes a lot. Technical climbing in slabs with often large fixed point clearances and minimum possibility of additional belaying, which often makes climbing this route very "piquant".
After five days that we spent in the wall, me and Christian were able to stand at the summit of this beautiful granite monolith named El Capitan. I have fulfilled my goal. I climbed all the key pitches mostly on the second attempt or flash or on-sight. Nine pitches climbed "top rope flash" behind Christian. It is probably the 12th free repetition of this route created by the Huber brothers.
Main task accomplished, but climbing doesn't stop...
I haven't been idle for the last week and started other but "shorter" projects. Still with Chris it was the "Father Time" route (5.13b or 8b) or with the Slovaks the legendary "The Phoenix" (5.13, 7c+) and "Final Frontiers" (5.13a/b, 7c+/8a).
The motivation for another return to the Valley is great, so I hope I will show up again as soon as possible.
Summary of routes sent
El Niňo 5.13c, A0 (El Capitan – 1000 m)
Together with Christian Fascendini. All key pitches PP or OS/FL. The other pitches climbed alternately, so 9 pitches I climbed TR always FL at a stretch.
Father Time 5.13b (Middle Cathedral – 600 m)
Together with Christian Fascendini. All key pitches PP. The other pitches climbed alternately, so 7 pitches I climbed TR always FL at a stretch.
The Phoenix 5.13a (Cascade Falls – 35 m)
Together with Ivo Šabo and Míša Izakovičová, RP on the second attempt
Final Frontiers 5.13b (Fifi Butters – 250 m)
Together with Míša Izakovičová. All pitches OS except 4th and 5th – PP.