It’s very difficult to talk about the climbs we have done (anyone) without sounding arrogant, but screw it, I’ll let it fly….

As far as the pure aesthetics of a line,  I’d say the Cobra Crack and The Shining are two of the most beautiful First Ascents I’ve ever done.  This fall, I had the pleasure of working with the Rock and Ice crew again.  They’re amazing.  So dedicated to telling great stories and pumping out quality imagery and it’s an honor to be able to tell ours through their pages this month.  January 2012, Issue # 199.

A bit of background:  This summer, I recruited Tommy Caldwell to join me on a 7 year dream.  To free climb the Diamond Face on Mount Louis, (pronounced Louie).  Our new climb is called the Shining and turned out to be a little harder than we expected.  It had been in my mind ever since my friend Eric Dumerac had told me about the rock quality, and it’s probable 5.13 cruxes, AND it had been taunting me every single year since.  Each summer I would stare up at it from the highway and promise “ONE DAY”.  But life happens and I put it off again and again.  Until this July when I basically stole TC and we dedicated 3 long climbing days to equipping it’s upper face, and then 2 more to freeing it.  To this day it’s one of the raddest things I have ever done.  For Tommy, it may just be another day of climbing.  ha ha.

To read the full story, please check out the current issue of Rock and Ice, you’ll know it because Lonnie Kauk (yup, Ron’s sickly strong son) is on the cover climbing Separate Reality.  It’s a great issue.  Good stories by Alex Honnold and Dean Potter.  Also check out the Mickey Schaefer interview, great guy, very talented climber, turned mega talented photographer.  Click below.

Below are a few point and click teaser pics from our fun adventure in the high and wild.  15 pitches in all, from 5.6 to 5.13+.  We kept most of it a secret until the issue came out, because we wanted to tell the story properly.  Now that it’s out, pick it up and enjoy.    Oh and CLICK on images to enlarge them!

A peek through the tree’s.  This image only shows the upper 3rd of Mt. Louis.

After a 3 hour hike, Tommy gets stoker near the base of the limestone mountain.

A little snow traverse brings us to a VERY foreshortened perspective of the Diamond Face.

A lawn chair?  Why not.  For comfort, in an uncomfortable place.  Check the issue for more details on this….ha ha ha….

An ocean of limestone.  Where to go next?  Tommy blazes straight up the middle.

A beautiful place to hang, if it were not for the crowds.

Rappelling off on our first day of inspection, the wall looms above and taunts our inevitable return.

  • scott

    Wow what a summer & fall you had! Way to keep the fire burning.