16 Days on El Cap

Caldwell on El Cap. Photo by Kyle Berkompas
It’s not a record length of time on Yosemite’s most recognized block of granite, but it sure demonstrates determination.

Tommy Caldwell tried for more than two weeks to beat the Dawn Wall and it didn’t make it. So yeah, it’s hard as hell.

Rock climbing is a sport in which pain and frustration tend to serve only to motivate. Torn hands, shredded forearms and gnarled toes, unnoticed along the way, appear only a few hours later in camp, the bar or in Caldwell’s case, when comfortably secure in a port-a-ledge next to your wife. You realize then that those small cuts and bruises and punches to your ego are meager reminders of what fueled you from the beginning. They become trophies. Exhaustion is your summit flag. And then it’s on to the next one, fingers be damned.

GrindTV has the gist of Caldwell’s attempt.

The Stuff Sack: outdoor news and views from the wilds of the Internet

Training for the Big Wall
The Wall Street Journal has an extreme sports¬†corespondent. Who knew? Michael J. Ybarra offers a nice read into aid climbing and how he’s preparing for an eventual send of The Captain.

West Virginia May Get National Park
In December, the NPS will begin efforts to consider converting portions of the Monongahela National Forest into a national park. Via the Charleston Gazette, “Judy Rodd, executive director of the group Friends of Blackwater Canyon, said the proposed High Allegheny National Park would be formed from “lands in the northern area of the Monongahela National Forest, which is already federal land,” as well as Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks.” The survey will take a year.

Central Florida surf breaks get signage
Surfers don’t like having breaks publicized. (See Surfline.com. *ducks*). I learned to surf at Patricks and Picnic Tables and Second Light and on the few occasions I ventured into the lineup by myself as a pasty kook from Upstate New York, I was able to see why the locals who grew up surfing alongside Kelly Slater may not want beginners like me flailing into the line-up.¬†However, in smaller communities like Cocoa Beach and Melbourne, every surfer knows every break, so it’s not like these signs are unveiling the next Cortez Bank. Nevertheless, signs like these could end up attracting the bros from UCF and Orlando who feel their one lesson from Ron Jon’s and their cool NSP wall decor board has earned them a spot next to guys like the Colburn boys. Maybe. But probably not.