|The last time we heard from Yuji Hirayama was exactly a year ago, when the Japan climber established a new speed record on the mythical Salathé. His ascent completed a circle, opened in 1997, when Yuji failed, by a hair's breadth, on his historic 1997 attempt to on-sight the 35 pitches. |
This year the news comes from Climbing, who report that Yuji has attempted another on-sight marathon, the Huber brothers' Golden Gate. 45 pitches up to 5.13b, freed in summer 2000. And this time... he didn't manage the on-sight. Only just.
All worked according to plan up until the 31st pitch on the second day when, shortly after 9.00am, Yuji climbed off route and, unable to reverse the hard moves, fell. Back on track Yuji continued swiftly on up but fell on the two crux pitches, lowering off and redpointing both of them before topping out at 20.00. A fantastic effort. Congratulations.
And congratulations, albeit belatedly, for his ascent of FlatMountain, his creation at Futagoyama, Japan. Freed after 20 days of effort in March, Yuji puts forward the grade 9a/+.