It dawned on me this morning that whilst Snake Dyke on Half Dome is only 5.7 so fairly straight forward you basically have to do a half marathon to get to and from what is essentially a 2000ft easy alpine route. Having done it in a day, I can tell you that I still ache and have zero energy left and Llion is essentially the same, we look and feel like zombies.
We have made the decision to quit whilst we are ahead, so El and the kids will get to see daddy a few days early as we are going top head home tomorrow. The weather in Yosemite is quite thunder stormy in the afternoon and given the routes we have ticked in the last week and finishing on half dome it just seems appropriate to say enough is enough, and have a few days rest at home before returning to work!
Had another good night in Camp 4 this time being entertained by Andy Kirkpatrick, for those who don’t know Andy is about to guide Phil Packer the guy who took twelve days to complete the London marathon up a Zodiac or Tangerine trip on El Cap to help him raise even more money for Help for a Hero(you can donate through this link). He has currently raised a cool £1000000 but wants to raise more. I would urge you all to donate what you can as this guy has real guts there is a video of him on the London Marathon on Andy’s Blog.
Interestingly Bear Grylls did an expedition to Antarctica where he needed rescuing at great expense and only managed to raise £20000 for the charity he was supporting. So Phil is doing an amazing job.
I have criticised Andy for his attempt on the Eiger, however Andy worries about this being seen as a stunt. However Phil has raised so much money, that this really can’t be described as a stunt. Andy is one of the more accomplished valley rats, having notched up the most impressive aid routes on El Cap. He is actually sat behind me in the Cafe getting ready to run up Zodiac in a day before Phil arrives.
Having instructed a wheelchair bound child in a Climbing wall and rigged a hoist to allow them to get above head height under her own steam, I know that not only will this be a great fund raising adventure for Andy, Phil and Team, but a great sense of freedom for Phil.
Andy took his partner Karen Drake a paraplegic up Zodiac last year (UKC Article), and hearing the stories yesterday, It sounded Epic, but his determination and stubbornness paid off, and they topped out. It is a shame that there isn’t more opportunities in Climbing for disabled athlete to enjoy our vertical adventures.
Good Luck to them.