Today was a day of rest we did very little other then laze about and filled the day with tourist things like going to watch ‘The Spirit of Yosemite’ a highly visual and emotive look at what makes Yosemite, Yosemite. I might recommend it to the LAMFF panel.
To a climber the spirit of Yosemite probably rides high on El Cap, every climber must dream of scaling this cliff’s impressive walls. they all rush here to test there wit against a foe as large as El Cap and a lot of ego’s are burnt in the process. A leveller of men (…and women) El Capitan rides as the ultimate roadside crag. Like moths caught in by the bright flame of the campfire, all climbers head to Camp 4.
Essentially Camp 4 is little more than a dust side of the valley floor with little more than a few hundred bear boxes, a make do refugee site situate in one of the most stunning valleys on earth gives the climber a living spirit. Truly international Camp 4 has always been focal point. So much so that when the park service tried to shut it down some ten years ago the great and the good of American climbing got together and lobbied to get Camp 4 made into a National Heritage Site. Ten years ago I was at the official designation party held by the Park Service for climbers.
The Camp now shares itself as a working monument to the ongoing development of climbing of which Yosemite is probably at the forefront. Take Uli Stecks latest rampage on his honeymoon. The huber brothers and of course our very own Leo Houlding have all helped keep El Cap up to date which the cutting edge of climbing.
I was reminded of my first visit here last night, whilst chatting to some young climber who have just finished university and are here to climb for a month. They have there tick list, a dream list of routes. I have done enough of ticking those in the last two weeks to keep me going for a while. These guys though were raw with excitement for the rock though, and that is what the spirit of yosemite is a raw quest for adventures in the vertical, any grade… any style.