This week's Friday Night Video takes us across the pond to Yosemite Valley where Tyler Karow and Amity Warne attempt to climb Golden Gate on El Capitan ground up. Tyler sent Amity a text on the off chance and just two days later they were hauling gear up to the Heart Ledges before their attempt began the following day. This was the pair's first time climbing together which perhaps explains how they are able to remain so positive during five gruelling days on El Capitan...
To play devils advocate, if you haul your kit up fixed lines two days before, is it a ground up ascent?
> To play devils advocate, if you haul your kit up fixed lines two days before, is it a ground up ascent?
LOL fair, I suspect that's an America big wall definition of ground up as they also talk about doing some of the lower pitches before?
As I understand it, the pitches up to Heart Ledges are part of the climb Salathe Wall. The climb Golden Gate starts from Heart Ledges.
2 mins in and I just couldn't listen to anymore. Looks like great footage and well done to the team but the super rad wooooooo just hit defcon 10. I wonder if they could do a dubbed version of it with maybe Joanna Lumley and Ralph Fiennes describing a jolly good show.
You have to love our American cousins, they really do let it all out.
Stunning route. Thank god for the mute button.
Funnily enough I didn't have the sound on. It's very watchable without sound.
Yes, I love our American climbing cousins. Their competence and enthusiasm levels are sky high. I like the way they "let it all out". Perhaps the rush to criticize this says more about the Brits than the Americans.
The first time i went to Yosemite i brought a British mindset. We drunk tea and shouted at our kit, the route and each other. "The f*cking bag is f*cking stuck"
"Ab down to it"
"I cant the f*cking ropes are tangled" etc
There were some americans climbing on a route near us. Their haul bag snagged on a flake as the second arrived at the belay and it meant the second had to re-jug an entire pitch and i swear he shouted "oh sweet dude, i get to jug the pitch again! the lower out below the roof was siiiick" and then they whooped for a bit.
I realised then that it actually really helps. So much invariably goes wrong that unrelenting and nauseating positivity is the best psychological approach.
Absolutely and totally awesome points guys! Wooooooooooooooohooooooo! Man, so good, you really got this! [Devil horns emoji] Wowsers! Way to go! Totally siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick! Can't wait for the next post, man! Yeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Woop woop woop!
[bit of British pisstaking there for balance - I do think those are good points well made against British downbeat curmudgeonliness]
> As I understand it, the pitches up to Heart Ledges are part of the climb Salathe Wall. The climb Golden Gate starts from Heart Ledges.
Golden Gate follows Salathe/Freerider for the first 20.5 pitches (depending on how the topo you're looking at links pitches or doesn't). They're identical up to El Cap Spire (shortly before the Boulder Problem/Teflon Corner), then Golden Gate shares halfish of the next pitch then goes right, where Salathe/Freerider continue straight up. Then there's about 16 pitches of independent climbing to the top, that's the Golden Gate bit really and is where all the hard climbing is.
There's a photo in my Yosemite guide crediting Tommy Caldwell with onsighting Golden Gate in a day, but I'd be surprised if he hadn't done Freerider previously. All gets a bit complicated when routes share such significant sections.
>To play devils advocate, if you haul your kit up fixed lines two days before, is it a ground up ascent?
They hauled their stuff to Heart Ledges which I believe has a pretty permanent set of fixed lines leading to it. The first 11 pitches (depending on topo) of Golden Gate take you to Heart Ledges, they're also the first 11 pitches of Salathe/Freerider and are independently known as the Freeblast. As I understand it the Freeblast is a pretty popular route to do in it's own right, not in big wall style, rapping down the fixed lines from Heart Ledges once you're done. I think it would be considered quite bad manners to haul up the Freeblast getting in the way of everyone when there are perfectly convenient fixed lines you can use for hauling that don't inconvenience anyone.
> I think it would be considered quite bad manners to haul up the Freeblast getting in the way of everyone when there are perfectly convenient fixed lines you can use for hauling that don't inconvenience anyone.
Even way back no one hauled bags up Freeblast when doing Salathe as it's too easy angled. The line of rappels from Heart Ledges is the most practical way.
Yeah, that's what I figured, they onsighted Golden Gate, but that starts half way up the wall. Really cool.
Good to know I was going to say that I thought it would be less practical as well but never having been on it I don't really know.
I couldn't take all the woohoo's either, and I'm American. At least, I've always self-identified as American. Maybe I'm actually British! Better ask me mum... I mean my mom.
> Yes, I love our American climbing cousins. Their competence and enthusiasm levels are sky high. I like the way they "let it all out". Perhaps the rush to criticize this says more about the Brits than the Americans.
Or maybe European climbers are just as enthusuastic but just don't feel the need to articulate it with endless whooping.
Have found that this only extends to in person contact though. If you’ve ever encountered a spray war on supertopos, mountain project or one of the facebook groups you’ll know what I mean 😂
American climbers don't endlessly "whoop". Such a generalisation, based on a few minutes of video, is absurd.
(I think, if I had managed some of those pitches, I might have been whooping spontaneously.)
'Two countries separated by a common language'
The first time I heard the word 'dude' spoken by a live human (as opposed to a TV/film character) was in 1985 in Colorado. I thought it was quaintly amusing. The bloke looked like late sixties Lennon with a Deliverance accent.
Interesting piece here from Dave MacLeod where he argues that positive thinking is not necessary:
"The positive thinking paradigm, in summary, suggests that by using positive visualisation, we create an image that we are more likely to live up to in the real event. Unfortunately the research shows this approach is ineffective. Positive thinking appears to reduce motivation and self discipline. Moreover, it tends to kill the critical thinking that underpins learning of complex skills. A practical example of this is when coaching climbers to overcome fear of the most basic form of climbing fall - falling onto mats at an indoor bouldering wall. Unless you also consider what a badly executed fall looks like, how can you even visualise ‘good’ falling and landing technique. If positive thinking allows you to believe the fall will be fine when you jump for the last hold, the fall, should you miss, is that much more undermining for the confidence since you did not expect it. In my own preparation for climbing situations of all types, I have found that I take care to examine the negative outcomes as well as the positive. I look for the problems and the weaknesses. But all this focus on the negative does not mean that I think or talk myself into failure. Quite the opposite. I deal with the problems at the time when they should be dealt with - in the preparation stage."