Monday by Mateo: Mr. Midwest


Here, Jane Jackson and Eric Bissell ply their skills on the lower pitches of Mr. Midwest (5.13b; 14 pitches) on El Capitan, Yosemite, a couple weeks after Eric and Cameron King finished the climb’s first free ascent. Consider that the first ascent of this massive (3,000-foot) monolith took 45 days way back in 1957 and 1958; now consider that the same climb, the Nose, has been done in less than two hours. Meanwhile, a host of extremely difficult free climbs like Mr. Midwest make their way up El Cap’s massive flanks, requiring a cool head, a deep bag of contortionist’s tricks for taming the slick, geometrically planed granite, and calves of steel for standing on the world’s tiniest footholds. 

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