Rock climbers Nick Brown, David Bruneau and Daniel Alacoque, AKA “The Choss Boys”, have succeeded on being the first Newfoundlanders to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California, the Mecca of climbing sports in North America. The team spent 4 days climbing the 2700 foot granite cliff on a historic route known at The Salathe, “camping out” on the vertical rock face on small tent platforms called porta-ledges bolted and hanging from the rock.
After a year of training at Wallnuts Climbing Centre in St John’s they set off on an epic journey that saw them climbing and honing their Big Wall skills in Squamish, BC, The Bugaboos in the Canadian Rockies and Smith Rock in Oregon before heading to Yosemite Valley. It culminated in topping out on the Salathe Wall of El Capitan this weekend.
”After 4 long days, Daniel, David, and I lived out our dream of climbing El Capitan via The Salathe Wall. It was an awesome and humbling experience. Dealing with the exposure on the head wall (an overhanging pitch 2700 feet up the route) took a lot of energy, as did the constant strain of spending every daylight hour climbing. I couldn’t have gone up with better partners. They dealt with my persistent impatience gracefully, and even managed to calm me down during some of the most stressful moments. It takes strong teamwork to keep things together on such a huge mission. Needless to say, we are feeling on top of the world today!”, Nick Brown writes from California. “4 days, 31 pitches and we stood at the top of El Capitan! The Salathe Wall gave us a serious run for our money. Many late nights and fearful leads were had, but in the end we heaved ourselves (and our 4 haul bags) to the top. Absolutely Amazing climb! No wonder we ran into Tommy Caldwell, Pete Whittaker, Alex Honnold, and Jimmy Chin along the way.”
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Check out the Salathe Wall