Alone - Off the Wall
In part one of this story we saw how Duncan Critchley's quick judgment of his partner for The Nose resulted in a piece of big wall history. Despite his good judgment, he was left with the regret that they never climbed together again. In part two Duncan's judgment isn't so good, but it leaves him with few regrets and some firm friendships. What do you do when you've just set the speed record on The Nose? For Duncan the answer was to set out alone. First with a free solo ascent of the...
Nine and a Half Hours
The Nose on El Capitan is perhaps the most iconic rock climb on the planet. Its been big news even outside of the climbing world since its first ascent by a team led by Warren Harding in 1958. The crowds in El Cap meadow became so unmanageable that the park rangers asked Harding to halt his work on the route until the autumn when the tourists had left. Today a major first ascent or speed record is news even in the mainstream media. Back in 1984 mild-mannered British climber "Sir" Duncan...
Becoming the Master
Every generation of climbers looks to improve on the performances of the last. The saga of the Great Wall on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu provides one of the best examples of this in British climbing.The climbers looked to improve the style and the difficulty of the lines: Joe Brown abandoned his efforts with a peg at his high point. Pete Crew surpassed it using pebbles for aid in the thin cracks of the top pitch. A young John Allen freed the line in 1974. In the early 80s the eyes of the best...
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