Home page Planetmountain.com
Ron Kauk and the Midnight Lightening bolt on the Columbia Boulder in Yosemite
Photo by

Midnight Lightning bolt, the icon of free climbing in Yosemite disappears for a day


Last week the famous "lightening bolt" on Midnight Lightning in Yosemite Valley disappeared before reappearing the next day.

Excuse the expression, but the news really did come like a bolt out of the blue: during the night the drawing which accompanies the world's most famous boulder problem, Midnight Lightning at Camp 4 in Yosemite, disappeared.

The lightening bolt had been drawn with chalk for the first time by John Bachar while he attempted to free the problem together with John "Yabo" Yablanski and Ron Kauk (Ron subsequently freed it in 1978) and since then the "bolt" has remained in place, in summer as in winter, becoming an icon for free climbing in Yosemite and for those years when everything was still to be discovered. A pictogram which generations of climbers have adored, venerated even, so much so that touching it was considered a good luck ritual prior to attempting to stick the tiny crimps and master that difficult mantle.

A few days ago the lightening bolt suddenly disappeared, washed away in the dark of night... As was to be expected, this action created great disdain in various forums, but it has to be said that some also approved of retuning the Columbia boulder to it’s original state. Should the drawing be considered graffiti? Or an icon to be preserved? While the debate rages, it seems as if climbers have already provided their answer: the lightning was already back in place the next morning!

After the video of Ron Kauk, here's a clip where you can make out the famous lightning bolt and watch Lynn Hill nonchalantly make the first female ascent.

Climbing in Yosemite - 5 super classics



NEWS / Related news:
Rock climbing in Yosemite - 5 Super Classics
Rock climbing in Yosemite - 5 Super Classics
Chris McNamara recommends five super classic rock climbs in Yosemite Valley, California, USA.




Full text search


EXPO / Products
EXPO / Company News
Planetmountain.com logo
Planetmountain.com: climbing, alpinism, mountaineering, trekking, via ferrata, freeride skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboarding and ice climbing worldwide. Furthermore the site contains technical gear reviews, book and film reviews, expert advice, mountain photos, sport climbing competitions.
The information is indicative and subject to change due to the nature of the mountain environment. Given the inherently risky nature of the activities described within, Planetmountain.com does not assume any responsibility for the use of the information published.

SUBSCRIBE to receive the weekly newsletter with all the latest news from planetmountain.com

Recent Comments Ice
  • L'uomo Volante
    Il 10 giugno 2017, insieme all'amico Michele, decidiamo di r ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • Gallo George
    Il 16 luglio 2016, invogliati dalla relazione, ci siamo avve ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • All-in
    Francesco Salvaterra e Filippo Mosca 27 gennaio 2017, probab ...
    2017-02-02 / Francesco Salvaterra
  • Una via per te fatta in tre
    Prima ripetizione effettuata il 3/11. Da rettificare la diff ...
    2015-11-13 / maurizio piller%20hoffer