During a five-week climbing bonanza this summer, Oxford University Mountaineering Club members Tom Codrington, Jacob Cook, Ian Faulkner and Peter Hill sailed among the granite cliffs of Greenland, establishing six new big-wall routes, including two up the thrice-attempted Horn of Upernivik Island (1700m). Along the way, Seal hunters shot bullets over their heads, one rogue husky ate vital climbing equipment, and they made memories they would eradicate from their minds if they could.
Though he had climbed El Capitan in a day–three times–twenty-two-year-old Cheyne Lempe spent the days leading up to his solo attempt on the Salathe Wall (VI 5.9 A2, 2,900′) trying not to puke out of the apprehension. “Tomorrow I’m going to try to climb the Salathe Wall on El Cap, in one day, by myself… Man, all those words in the same sentence just sounds… sounds like it’s going to be a lot of suffering….”
Two climbers recently rappelled the upper reaches of El Capitan to conduct a traditional “Nose Wipe.” They hauled out garbage by the bag-full, but an estimated 500 pounds of debris remains on Yosemite’s best-known route.
In just over 20 hours on November 6 and 7, Cheyne Lempe rope soloed the Salathe Wall (VI 5.9 A2, 2,900′, Frost-Prett-Robbins, 1961) of El Capitan, the fastest solo ascent of the route yet made. Shortly after finishing the climb, Lempe produced an edit of his time alone on the wall.
New Zealander Iain Burgon had climbed the Roggspitze a number of times before, but never alone and with a camera. Herein, his edit of the experience.