The usual gear line up in the garage.
The usual gear load in the car.
Max at the base of El Cap, racking up for the first time in 32 years!
The start of the South Seas is in the Alcove on the South East Face of El Cap.
He may not be totally ready, but he is totally willing!
Not the easiest pitch to climb after 32 years on the couch!
After five hours on the lead, Max arrives at the anchor.
Cleaning the first pitch.
It was getting late but I wanted to get another pitch done.
At the anchor atop the first pitch.
Big mistake doing that last pitch! Max hadn't cleaned a pitch is years and here he was cleaning a diagonal, overhanging one in the dark.
Max, Me and our families, Caitlin, Patti, Max, Me, Peggy and Ellen.
Patti and Caitlin happy and ready to help us hike loads to the base.
Sort of a "what have I gotten myself into" look, eh?
The usual mountain of gear.
Water in a haul bag.
Ascending a 230 foot free hanging rope to the second anchor.
El Cap's art.
Looking down at me ascending the rope.
While I was hauling, I set Max to beefing up our anchor. It was 2- 3/8 bolts and an oddly placed 1/4 incher. We removed the 1/4 inch bolt and filled its hole.
Ah! The comfort of a portaledge!
We spent the night right there on top of the 2nd pitch. It was Max's first night on a portaledge.
The next day Max led two pitches in a row. I just sat around and belayed and cleaned.
That right there is a friggen happy idiot up on El Cap!
Max leads the 4th pitch, staying dry while it dumps rain in the Valley
The first 6 pitches overhang so much that we never felt a drop while it rained all day.
Max was sort of amazed that he was actually up there.
The happy pigs!
Me cleaning the 4th pitch.
Max had been so intent on the climbing all day that I don't think he knew it was raining or even took the time to look around.
At one point the clouds enveloped us and we could see only 75 feet in any direction.
Sort of surreal, eh?
El Cap Meadow the next morning. There was crystal clear blue sky above!
The Cathedral Group and El Cap meadow the morning after the rain.
I can only imagine what Max was thinking at this point after his second night and with many more to come.
Me starting up the 5th pitch.
Me, above, leading, Max belaying.
Max belaying from the Belay Lounge.
Max figuring out a rope cluster.
Max leading a beautiful, clean, El Cap corner on the third day.
El Cap Flora.
The top of the 6th pitch, our home for the night.
We climbed a bit late that day but the early evening wasn't too cold. It was simply beautiful after the moon rose and lit up the Valley and El Cap.
Leading up to the Great White Shark.
Max at the top of the 6th pitch.
At the end of the bolt ladder, about to place a beak, at the beginning of the Great White Shark.
I've forgotten if I hammered this beak or not, I think not.
On top of the Great White Shark.
Max starting to clean the Great White Shark. You can see a party at the base of the North America Wall on the right.
Me and the haul bags at the anchor at the top of the Shark.
Max cleaning. He was getting more and more relaxed as the days went by.
Max getting ready to lead the Rubber Band Man Pendulum.
Looking down at the anchor at the top of the Shark.
Max leading up to the pendulum.
Max leading interesting and fun C2+.
Looking down at the anchor.
I think he's right at the first pendulum point.
Me cleaning the corner after the pendulum.
Looking up from that same point. We spent the night at that anchor.
Plant hanger bolts! Notice how the rings are elongated!
A vertical pano, notice the red/orange dot in the lower 1/3 of the photo. The two Mikes, "Mike Squared".
Morning of our 4th day.
Me leading on our 4th day.
Just a little bit higher than the previous photo.
Max cleaning the last full pitch on the South Seas. The Pacific Ocean Wall connects at the ledge right at the top of the photo.
Max checking out his next lead.
Max starting up the last section of the South Seas. This pitch was quite long. The topo said 150 feet but it seemed a lot longer.
You can see climbers on the North America Wall just left of the black rock and a bit above mid height of the photo.
It was around the third or fourth day that I could tell Max really started to relax and get into it.
Belaying while reclining in the portaledge is a real treat.
Leading onto the Bering Straits.
We "flagged" the ledge this day so we could lay in it while belaying.
Climbers on the North America Wall.
The Mike Squared Team.
Max cleaning the first pitch of the Bering Straits.
I'm an animal when I'm on El Cap!
(don't look too closely, the droopy folds of old-man-skin will gross you out)
Digging out the pins made Max a happy guy!
Max leading the second pitch of the Bering Straits.
Oh yeah, life sucks!
The Bering Straits
Max approaching the anchor at the end of the 2nd Bering Straits pitch.
The second Bering Straits pitch.
Max and Clouds
Cleaning the 2nd pitch of the Bering Straits. This is a 4 shot pano.
Max liked this belaying from the portaledge stuff.
Leading the last pitch of the Bering Straits. Max and I couldn't read the topo and couldn't decide if the length read 100 or 160 feet. It was 160.
El Cap Meadow
El Cap Meadow and the Cathedral Group in late afternoon light.
Cleaning the last pitch of the Bering Straits.
I was pretty hot, thirsty and beat right here.
Looking down on one of the Mikes having just completed "the most spectacular lead in American climbing" on the NA Wall.
Max leading out onto the first pitch of the Illusion Chain.
Sitting on the Black Tower.
Hooks! Yikes! (not really)
a vertical pano of four or five photos.
Getting close to the top but still a day and a half away.
Looking back from where Max is in the previous photo.
Max texting on his iPhone in the morning.
Two pitches from the top.
The last haul is always the worst.
Max ran out of slings trying to avoid rope drag on the last pitch so he linked a bunch of biners together.
Our gear on top.
Getting things ready for our porters.
Empty water bottles.
Arron, Mike, Max and Jordan.
Our porters, Arron, Mike and Jordan.
Me and our porters. Check out Jordan's load!
Notice all the gear I'm carrying.
My traditional swimming hole on the way down from El Cap.
Max enjoying a dip!
El Cap's Art
More El Cap art.
Jordan makes it down in one piece.
El Cap, a warm day, a great climb. Ah, life is good!