Climbing, to some, may seem like an endeavor of uselessness. To a select few, climbing is a way of life, a way to channel creative energy and confront our fears directly and face challenges unique to immense, silent faces of rock. From a distance, all that can be seen is a summit, with a large section of blankness standing between it and the ground. The only true way to find the challenges and intricacies on these walls is to commit to the unknown.
When I arrived in Yosemite Valley last May, I would spend hours staring at the prominent and striking face of Half Dome, dreaming of one day committing to this unknown and eventually standing on the top. Seeing headlamps on the wall would only further excite my urge to get up there and experience the exposure for myself. I had to climb that rock.
At 5:26 am on the morning of Saturday May 2, 2015, my 26th birthday, Connor Britts and myself tied ourselves into a rope, and began on a quest to reach the top of the largest wall I have ever attempted in my life. 21 straight hours of climbing later, as I pulled over the last mantel move to the summit, I realized that my dream of one day tackling such a feat had finally come to fruition. It comes with an incredible deal of pride to announce victory! We did it! We climbed the Northwest face of Half Dome. Together, with our own two hands and feet and assorted climbing gear, we climbed the freaking face of Half Dome! I really never thought that those words would come out of my mouth, but they are true and feel so good! We climbed the face of Half Dome!! Half Dome!!
Thank you so much for everyone believing in us and sending us the positive vibes! The people in my life are true inspirations to keep pushing myself further and further, to see how far our own bodies can take us. Thank you as well to the Huff crew for the light shows as we were on the upper pitches, the mental challenges of big wall climbing are very easily overcome by encouragement from like-minded souls. My 25th year of life was by far the best and longest, and I feel that 26 is off to one hell of a great start, thank you everyone for going out of your way to wish me warm regards on my birthday. I love you all!
Now here’s a photo of Connor crushing the Double Cracks pitch! Who’s up to go back up there with me??