El Capitan: Crazy climbers above the reality

in photography •  3 months ago 

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Imagine a rock, 3000 feet high. Imagine it's vertical like a wall. Imagine you're taking a look at these cliff and you're seeing just stone, grey and brown, white sometimes and under a clear blue sky. This is Yosemite Valley, this is the legendary El Capitan, a solid rock located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end of the National Park.

For regulary tourists this granite giant is a must see. They're standing on the foot of the hill and they're looking up - and the longer they look the more they see: Some colored points are hanging on the wall, red and blue and yellow. And if you have a spyglass slowly the picture comes clear: This spots are people on hanging balconies, made from tarps and glued to the wall.

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It's stunning, it's breathtaking. Imagine for just one moment you're on one of this platforms, 300 or 400 meters high in the nothing, kept only from a few screws and hooks and a little bit of knitting. And then imagine you should sleep on this plane tonight, three meters long, one meter wide, out in the wind, maybe under rain with nothing to do but continue climbing the next day.

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For you and me probably it will be a nightmare. For the climbers on the wall it is a dream come true. They call their balconies "portaledges" and guys like Kevin Jorgeson are finding happiness in sleeping up there and looking down to the normality of the ordinary world.

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