Can't ever be too careful - El Capitan

9:58 a.m. on June 7, 2018 (EDT)
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Sounds like something failed, then the rope took a hit beyond what it was intended to handle. It can happen to anyone. Very unfortunate.  https://www.climbing.com/news/eye-witnesses-recount-tragic-accident-on-el-caps-freeblast/ 

9:51 a.m. on June 8, 2018 (EDT)
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The same issue contains an account of Honnold and Caldwell's (?) breaking the two hour mark on El Cap.

Note that they were simul climbing (essentially unbelayed) on 5.7 terrain.  Traditionally, on 5.7 you are belayed, placing protection as the leader advances.  the leader falls, is held by the belayer, and you don't make headlines.

Today, with advances in technology, especially shoes, and training, 5.7 is considered beginner terrain, but the law of gravity hasn't been repealed and it is still forcefully applied.

I first climbed in Yosemite in August, 1958, when Harding et al. were siege climbing on the first ascent of El Capitan.  The NPS halted climbin until the fall, because they were drawing huge crowds to El Cap meadows.

It is extremely unfortunate that these high skilled and capable climbers perished. I wonder is they recalled Scott' final words in his Antarctic diary:

"We took chances, we knew we took them.

Things have come out against us; therefore, we have no cause to regret"

probably they didn't, but those are words to remember when you skirt the edge...

10:24 a.m. on June 10, 2018 (EDT)
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Good words by hikermor.  It doesn't matter if your are exploring the Arctic, running rivers, or free climbing.  Be ever vigilent.   Awareness of the danger should be in the front of your mind at all times.   When you have no fear you should quit. 

It all hits home when you start losing friends.  A close friend just had a terrible horse wreck and fractured her skull.  I was at their ranch two weeks ago.  Be careful what you sign up for. 

April 25, 2019
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