Yosemite, climbing recommences on Dawn Wall
With the reopening of the U.S. National Parks climbing has recommenced in Yosemite. This season Tommy Caldwell will be joined on the demanding Dawn Wall project up El Capitan by Kevin Jorgeson, Jonathan Siegrist and Chris Sharma.
After the two-week U.S shutdown - which involved more than 800,000 federal employees - last week the Democrats and Republicans finally reached an agreement to unlock the paralysis. Government offices are slowly reopening, as are the national parks and climbers in Yosemite certainly didn't wait to be asked twice: on the 16th, the day of the official reopening, there was already plenty of hustle and bustle high up on the rock faces. And as was to be expected, works have immediately resumed on Dawn Wall, the mega project that ever since 2007 has captured Tommy Caldwell's imagination up the SE Face of El Capitan.
The big news this autumn is that Caldwell will be helped to solve this immense vertical puzzle not only by strong boulderer Kevin Jorgeson and extraordinary Jonathan Siegrist, but also by Chris Sharma who certainly needs no introduction. As climbing.com stated, Sharma has relatively little experience on Yosemite granite and big walling in general, but it's evident that having a climbing partner of this calibre and talent is a huge bonus in tackling these 900m that weave their way, all free, around the aid route Mescalito. A real American dream team therefore versus what promises to be the most intense big wall in the world.
Last year success ground to a halt after having freed the first 12 pitches as well as the upper headwall, while the three pitches at half-height had resisted all efforts. Yesterday Caldwell, Jorgeson and Sharma climbed the first 5 pitches and it is clear that due to the two-week Shutdown, the battle against the technical difficulties and race against the onset of winter have become even more pressing.