I kinda hate my phone, and I despise shopping. But tonight the I indulged and genuinely enjoyed both researching charities and binge shopping donations dedicated to loved ones. I am really proud of the outdoor industry for stepping up to the plate this giving Tuesday. There are so many companies matching donations. I mostly used @patagoniaactionworks because it’s a great tool to help you find the non-profits. And also because I am sure Patagonia will be really disappointed if they don’t give away at least 10 million again this holiday season. I hope ingrid and Fitz like there donation receipts under the tree instead of toys. 😬
Okay, my turn to gush (see @alexhonnold recent post ). The last time I tried to free climb this section of El Cap it took me seven years. This time it was about three weeks. Yes, this route was much easier and I learned a lot on the Dawn Wall. But I think the main reason for the fast progress was that Alex always seemed to push our perceptions of what’s possible. Once again I felt lucky to be drafting off the worlds boldest and most badass rock climber. I was also exceedingly impressed by his willingness to pass up worlds of professional opportunity to come toil on the wall. Fame hasn’t spoiled Alex. He is still as core as they come. #thebromanceliveson 📸 by @austin_siadak
For 15 years I was astonished that not more people free climbed on El Capitan. Well, now its pretty main stream and the climbing rangers are having to consider how to manage the influx. Overall I think El Cap is cleaner than it was 15 years ago. People these days tend to be more respectful of the place and better about packing out their waste. In many ways, climbers have become defacto care takers of the park thanks to organizations like the Yosemite Climbers Association. But more people means we need to continually be more thoughtful about our impact. The top of El Cap is in the spotlight for impact right now. So for those of you hoping to camp up there, here are some suggestions straight from the climbing rangers. 📸 @austin_siadak Permit required for camping on top (exception for the night after climbing a wall ). I'm hoping to add an East Ledges trailhead to our system but for now planned camping on top of El Cap will need a permit with Yosemite Falls, Rockslides, or Tamarack Flat trailheads--they can still hike up the East Ledges of course. (Permits are free by the way ) Please refrain from having fires on top of El Cap (next year this will likely be a regulation. ) There is hardly any wood up there that is dead and down, and it is needed to regenerate the soil. Label and date caches. Name and contact info. When you leave the park for the season it should all be gone. Climbers are getting special treatment here already, and caches left longer than 24 hours unattended are technically not allowed. We get it though and as long as you are actively working your route, and not leaving the park they are ok. Food storage: regulation is either in a bear canister or hung over the face. Of course all other LNT principles are relevant!
We’ve been keeping things kinda vegue this season as to not make too much of a spectacle. But @alexhonnold and I, with @austin_siadak and @kjorgeson finished a pretty legit new free route on El Cap a few days ago. It primarily followed the aid climb New Dawn and has some of the most spectacular climbing I have found. It’s a continuation of a free route that @leo_houlding established half way up the wall 18 years ago called Passage to Freedom. That route was ahead of its time and a work of art in itself featuring El Caps first sideways Dyno. Leo also bolted a Alfa Romeo hood badge to the wall which he used as a handhold to get past a section he believed was impossible without. (We found a way around ). After a few weeks of work, having not tried many of sections of the climb, Alex and I went for kind of a Hail Mary attempt. Miraculously we pulled it off! Life complications kept Kevin away for too much of the Toiling and working of the route for him to feel ready for the Hail Mary. Wish you could have been with us buddy. There are many great stories and photos from @austin_siadak . So I’m going to try and share a few in the coming days. Last photo in the reel is Leo back in the day and was taken by Andrew Mcgarry.
It’s pretty incredible to have the best filmmakers in the business documenting your biggest adventures. The Reel Rock film tour never disappoints. This year I’m part of a film about about speed climbing The Nose. It just may Be a bit of a classic. Check it out at one of 600 locations world wide!
I spent the last week camped on top of El Cap witnessing some of the most breathtaking smoke enhanced sunsets I have seen. The falling ash made it feel both surreal and apocalyptic.
We put Fitz in to public school this year which means evenings and weekends are our time to get outside and play as a family. School has been great for him so far but we want to make sure he still gets a lot of imaginative play. For us that requires the outdoors and good fuel (Clif zBar has whole grains and no high fructose corn syrup! ). @clifkid and @greenkidcrafts sent us this Imagination Kit for Fitz and he loved it so much we’d like to share with you. Click link in bio to enter to win an Outdoor Imagination Kit and get 10 Clif Kid products for $5 plus free shipping with code: TOMMY5 (while supplies last ).
Had to visit my favorite place during @yosemitefacelift . Good to spend some time with Kevin and get psyched for some time on the Captain this fall!
It’s been a pretty crazy last couple weeks of environmental work. I met some legends on Capitol Hill, did some good work in the Senate and House, protested on the steps of the capitol with the @sunrisemovement , and spoke at Harvard/MIT and the Cragging Classic about conservation and adventure activism. I’m starting to find the allure of making a positive difference for our kids too good to resist. If feels a bit like when I started climbing the Dawn Wall. There is an end goal that seems quite improbable. The journey will certainly be met with a lot of setbacks and failure, but no matter what it’s going to be a crazy adventure that profoundly shapes us as humans. Extra thanks to Erik Murdock @accessfund , Lindsay Bourgoine @pow_action_fund and Justin Brown for pulling off some extraordinary events. The world needs more people like you! It’s slightly unfortunate that my social media has obviously been targeted by some paid climate change denying trolls hiding behind private accounts. But I guess that means we have the big money mongering special interest groups on the run. We must persevere!
It struck me this morning while marching with the youth in DC that there is a wonderful side effect to this kind of activism. Purpose driven passion is what creates happiness. Nothing feels more right than fighting for what you truly believe is best for the people you love. And I really love our kids. It’s time to follow their lead.
We’re getting ready to strike! @gretathunberg has started something that has become central to what I believe will be the apex issue of our time. Seeing her in DC last week was truly moving. Momentum is building. Not getting involved is making a pretty big bet against the future of humanity. Get out there and let our policy makers know we need action! Link in my bio to find a strike near you. #thereisnoplanetb
Arctic Bill 1146 passed the house floor while we were testifying to the Senate Democrats special committee on the climate crisis. Thanks @pow_action_fund for always punching above your weight. Such a pleasure to be involved. I made some new hero’s this week.
I certainly never aspired to get involved in politics. But when it seems increasingly likely the survival of humanity for my kids generation will depend on the policy we are making right now, it becomes worth it. That’s why tomorrow I am testifying in the senate. Voting isn’t just about showing up at election time, it’s about creating a culture shift. Call your representatives. Tomorrow they vote on whether to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 📸 @austin_siadak
Traveling the world with the family is fun. But being home with them is great too. It’s been been nice getting back into a bit of a routine this last few weeks. Eating from the garden, avoiding cars and airplanes, my @moonclimbing moonboard and @brewer_fitness treadwall are getting some good use. But mostly I have been playing with my wife and kids as much as possible.
I am pretty excited about this years Reel Rock where the major film features my brief foray into speed climbing with Alex Honnold. Check it out this fall.
Our last few days in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge were spent packrafting through the 10-02 area, which is the specific area slated to be opened to drilling. On this part of our journey we were almost constantly surrounded by caribou. Our @alpacka_raft packrafts, besides being super fun, opened my eyes to the possibilities of accessing remote places via boat. 📸 @austin_siadak @patagonia_climb #savethearcticrefuge The vote on HR1146 has been delayed to September. So there is still time to contact your representative!
Kevin and I are getting the full spectrum of stereotypical Austrailian tourist experiences on our whirlwind country wide tour. I’ve been wanting to visit these places for ages and they certainly are not disappointing. It doesn’t hurt that the locals are likely warmest and most good humored in the world. And the climbing is off the hook too. Thanks @adventure .entertainment for putting on a great tour!
Kevin and I had a really fun day up at the pipes. It’s not often that I get to climb on a kind of rock that I have never touched before. What a great setting! If you are in Hobart, come to our show tonight!
The Arctic Wildlife Refuge touched my soul in a way I will not soon forget. Is it worth leaving some places wild so we can remember the impact we as humans have? There’s a link in my bio to ask your Representative to Vote YES on HR 1146 to stop oil leases in the Arctic Wildlife refuge. Vote happening this July. 📷 @austin_siadak
Few things bring me joy like great adventures with cool people. Our journey through the Arctic Wildlife Refuge started with a dip the most incredible hot spring I have ever seen. Over the next few days we would climb over a mountain range, across epic glaciers and down to the headwaters of these intricate braded rivers. The breathtaking beauty of this wild land took me by surprise. It felt pristine in a way I have never seen and filled me with an inner calmness I have not known for a long time. When pro drilling advocates call this a wasteland, I can’t help but laugh. In my view it might the farthest land from I wasteland I can imagine. The idea of turning it into an oil field breaks my heart. There’s a link in my bio to ask your Representative to Vote YES on HR 1146 to stop oil leases in the Arctic Wildlife refuge. Vote happening this July. 📷 @austin_siadak