After coming close in the past, the stars finally aligned and Mayan Smith-Gobat could make a dream of her's come true: A free ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite, via the classic Salathé wall.
I started my mission on the Salathe on my own and spent countless hours alone on the Headwall, working out how to climb an overhung flaring crack... This is where I really started learning how to crack climb. I had several unsuccessful attempts on the route – Exactly a year before sending the Salathe I was forced to bail off the route after freeing everything up to the Headwall, when a brutal thunderstorm hit and soaked us and all our equipment. This year I spent several days trying to climb the Headwall, and the day before I sent I had a heartbreaking fall off the very last move.
This was the second free female ascent, the first being Steph Davis' in 2005.
Full story on Mayan's blog
Mayan Smith-Gobat is sponsored by: Five Ten, Cactus Climbing, Earth sea sky, Em's powercookies and Spelean
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