As wall climbers get older, stiffer, and maybe just a little more lazy, they will hire the monkeys to porter the gear either to the base off El Cap, or off the summit.
The going rate to the base is $50-60 and from the top it is $150.
It seems like it's quite a bit of money, but the bags are very heavy, painful, and it's actually a bit dangerous. Descending the East Ledges isn't for someone without climbing experience.
I feel like I've been in the right place and the right time, and I've gotten to carry loads for 5 different teams making almost $500.
Photo: Mark Hudon
Greg and I being sherpas. I usually just try and get the hike over with as fast as possible, but I took it easy with Mark's heavy load. I planned on doing my big solo the next day and I didn't want to get too worked.
Mark had a successful 8 day solo ascent on Zenyatta Mondatta. I hope I'll be able to get to that point some day. That route was at my mental limit... with two other partners!!
Relaxing in the meadow. I drank some rotten milk the other day.. I felt sick for two days! Fact: just because chocolate milk still smells and tastes good, it doesn't mean that you can let it sit unrefrigerated for 24 hours.
Jugging up the fixed lines on East Ledges to porter another load.
Partners Aaron and Matt psyched to have sent The Shield after 5 days on the wall.
I love talking to people right when they get off the wall, especially right when they top out. Seeing the relief in their faces and happiness to be done with their adventure is awesome.
I am in a different place in my life than I was last year when I was here. A lot has happened in my life since then. Instead of leaving burnt out this year, I'm leaving still very psyched. There is still soo much that I want to climb here.
I trained very hard for this trip, and I sent almost everything that I planned to climb here. Climbing The Zodiac as fast as I did was reassuring to me that all of my hard work has paid off. The trip was not only successful because of my physical performance, but also the mental aspect of it all.
I have learned how to deal with fear, and the anxieties that I experience in climbing. I also feel like I am getting ahold of everything in my life mentally. I have been able to learn so much about myself. I truly needed these 6 weeks.
I feel better than I have in a very long time.
So this is me... writing to you for the last time in Yosemite Valley for the season.
Photo: Uncle Tom