Here’s a video I’d like to share from the Black Diamond Journal. Filmed on the spot this summer by Cedar Wright, the clip is about a climb I did with Alex Honnold, (one of my all time hero climbers) in Squamish BC. Rated 5.13c R, “Lake of Fire” is hard for the grade, it’s the steep and severe alternative start to the mega classic “69” 5.13b/c.
When I showed up, I was running late from a work stint, Alex had just done the climb and although I remembered the moves well from a TR session a month before, I didn’t remember all the gear, especially with the rack Alex used. I only had about 30 minutes before the mid-day sun hit the wall, so I opted to skip the warm up and see what could do. Alex handed me his rack and sprayed me down where to place each piece as I timidly climbed higher and higher, trying to warm up and stay relaxed. Before I knew it I was at the crux moves and pumped out of my skull. I had less than a 50/50 chance of topping out. But with Cedar somewhere on the wall filming, I thought, ‘I better try pretty hard‘, because there’s nothing worse than hanging in a harness for 20 minutes only to film some skinny white kid wimping out above decent gear.
So, with great uncertainty I let out a scream trying to dig my finger into the shallow mono. It worked, I stuck and continued to the top. It was a rewarding send, because of Alex’s encouragement, I was able to do the route faster than I thought I would, sort of unexpected. So that’s always nice. Enjoy the clip, and if you get a chance to try the route, do it, it’s one of the best in the Sea to Sky Corridor, of any grade.
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