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Climbing in a Granite Paradise: A Stone Monkey's Tales of Big Wall Climbing in Yosemite, presented by Forest Altherr

Date: 
Tue, 2017-08-22

Yosemite National Park is North America's birthplace of big wall rock climbing, and the park's reputation remains global in its reach. Climbers from every continent congregate in this granite mecca annually to live out their dreams on the soaring faces of grey and gold rock. El Capitan captivates the attention of
the vertically obsessed. Sheer walls rise 3,000 feet from valley to sky within a short walk from the parking area. When observing the rock from a quarter mile away the seemingly minuscule features mask the fine detail that a climber experiences on a vertical odyssey. The ability to engage with the landscape and leave the crowds on the valley floor behind propel a monkey's appetite for upward motion.

Forest will explore the contrast between dichotomous styles of big wall climbing; vertical camping and doing walls in a push (often referred to as, 'Speed climbing'). Drawing from recent experience with the Nose (5.8 C2) and Freerider (5.12d) this discussion will focus on stories from these experiences and the
skills required to have a good time.  Additionally, Forest will delve into the comedic side of life in the valley through anecdotes from his experience with the tribe of climbers who scurry among the boulders at night. Throughout his talk Forest will convince you that many big wall routes are within your grasp as long as you have the willingness to learn and the drive to push through your perceived barriers.

Bio: Forest has been climbing in Yosemite National Park since 2008. Inspired to develop the skills to climb the valley's iconic monoliths, Forest dedicated himself to the craft of honing the intellectual, psychological, and physical skills necessary to climb many of the classic routes on El Capitan. While primarily a rock climber, with a taste for big routes, Forest enjoys all aspects of the sport of climbing.

The experience with this sport is thrilling and unadulterated fun, however Forest finds the greatest value in his connection with the community of climbers he has woven his life among.

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