“More than any other mountain or formation, El Capitan has been responsible for the changing philosophy and the rising standards of American climbing.”  (Yvon Chouinard, AAJ 1966)

“The ultimate big wall climbing monolith on earth, located in the sunny environs of Yosemite Valley, California, attracts climbers from all over the world.  Its walls – nearly 3000 feet at the highest point – are of especially solid granite.  Aid climbing techniques and equipment as we know it today evolved out of ascents of El Capitan .  Some 100 routes scale it, and the longest are over 30 pitches.  Landmark climbs on it include:  the East Buttress, the Nose, the Salathé Wall, and the North America Wall.  This last route stood as the hardest wall in the world for many years.”  (Greg Child, Climbing:  The Complete Reference)


El Capitan is a beautiful climbing rock.  I love the natural routes, the spirited granite, soaring cracks, gigantesque walls, wholesale commitment to the many days up there, and the airy bivouacs.  Aid climbing, hauling, rope management, inspired partners – how nurturing those adventures were.


“Grandfather El Capitan – three thousand feet of rock spirit.  For me, maybe the most sacred of vertical journeys in the world.  Imagine that.”  (Ron Kauk, Spirit of the Rock)






EL CAPITAN with little cloud, from the summit of Lower Cathedral Spire, Yosemite Valley, California, August 1965.