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Jorgeson sends pitch 15!!

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On the Dawn Wall at night when the rock is cooler, hands sweat less, and friction is better

Rock and Ice is reporting that after several days of rest on El Capitan’s Dawn Wall, Kevin Jorgeson finally sent pitch 15 today.

The New York Times says he texted “I’m not holding this train up” to his girlfriend.

Congratulations, Kevin!

For background, see previous Pied Type post, “The Dawn Wall: Because it’s there.”

Jan. 10: For a “play-by-play” of Kevin’s triumph, complete with photos, see Tom Evans’ report on ElCap Reports.

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8 Comments »

  1. Unfortunately this morning after reading your latest post I found myself in a bit of a haze or fog and my initial unsolicited response to your post was, “Huh?”

    You see… I had absolutely no idea as to what information your post was trying to convey or what major significance sending the words “pitch 15” to a girlfriend would have in my life or anyone else’s life for that matter. At first I thought you were congratulating the climbers for reaching the summit. But after checking your referenced links I realized of course that was not the case.

    Your first post regarding the climb a few days ago was not quite as puzzling to me although the numbers accompanying the laid out route of the climb and noted at various points did little at the time to draw my intellectual curiosity.

    I decided that surely this “pitch” term in your latest post, which I have always associated with baseball or the act of throwing something, was some sort of rock climbing terminology which those of us living in the hill country have not been exposed to in our day to day lives.

    As it turns out my intellectual investigation not only solved the mystery of “pitch 15” but went a very long way in explaining those numbers previously referenced with regard to your earlier post indicating the climb route.

    I have now committed to memory the climbing terminology “pitch” so I look forward to your follow up posts on subsequent “pitches”! 🙂

    • I’m always at a bit of a loss as to where to post updates to previously published posts. If I simply add the information to the existing post as either a postscript or introductory note, those who’ve already read the post will never see it nor be advised of it. If I add it as a comment below the existing post, it will be missed by those who’ve already read the comments (unless they’ve subscribed to them in order to see new responses) and by those who never read comments. Doing it as a new post means all subscribers will be notified, but a new post generally requires more explanation than a simple announcement would warrant. This post started as just two or three sentences linked to the source and the previous post. But it looked so painfully sparse, I added a picture. And later found the second picture which I thought was even better. This time, of course, the problem was that unless people are willing to go back and read the previous post, this one wouldn’t mean much. I’d appreciate any suggestions for good ways to handle updates.

      I knew a bit about climbing before this story broke, but I too have learned some new terminology. The main one is “send,” meaning to surmount or get past a pitch. All I can tell you about the numbers on the Dawn Wall photo is that they are the pitch numbers followed by a difficulty rating which to climbers is very precise. To the rest of us, it basically translates to “no way a human can do this.” One explanation of the ratings can be found at Outdoors with Dave. Look at the route again and realize that 5.15a is as hard as any climb in the world can get. According to the Coloradoan, there are fewer than ten 5.14-rated pitches in the world right now.

    • From Kevin’s Facebook page 11 hours ago:

      Pure joy. Pitch 15 finally went down after 11 attempts over 7 days. Riding high, I stuck the dyno on Pitch 16, but fell in the corner right above the no hands stance. Back to finish that tomorrow. THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has followed along, believed and supported us. It’s not over yet.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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