COOL AID, 1961
“The image of Royal Robbins in the early and mid 1960s was the very
as we know it would not exist without Royal Robbins.
The way we move, behave, and even think is, 30 years after the
end of his
saw that climbing big walls in good style could do wonders for the soul.
Climbing, for him, tended to be a spiritual exercise:
not man overcoming the rock with garrison tactics, but man
striving and reaching for a deeper meaning.
If you pushed into the unknown, then perhaps you’d discover
something about yourself.” (Steve
Roper, Camp 4)
Here, Royal leads the third pitch
of the Salathé
Wall. The climbing route
follows natural rock features where cracks provide handholds, footholds,
and enable the placement of pitons.
The second man removed the pitons as he followed the pitch.
Thus, the route was left for the next party in the same condition
in which we found it. This
leave-no-trace philosophy was a cornerstone of Robbins’ style.
It was a natural style, incorporating appreciation, cooperation
COOL AID, Royal
Robbins climbs the third pitch of the Salathé Wall, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park,
California, first ascent by Robbins, Pratt and Frost, in 9½ days of