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Monday By Mateo: Chuck Pratt and Pratt's Crack

Chuck Pratt was the clown prince of Yosemite’s original Camp 4 scene, a climber diminutive instature but prodigious on talent and humor, known for his grace on the rock and his gymnasticfeats of balance and derring-do. As his contemporary TM Herbert recalled in an article forAlpinist, Pratt “used to walk the metal railings at Glacier Point [in the mid-1950s] and any other chains and cables he could find.” Once, when the Colorado climbers Pat Ament and Van Freeman brought their own slack chain to Camp 4 to practice their balance, Pratt stood up on it and began to juggle wine bottles—at least three and maybe four. He was surely one of the progenitors of the modern slack lining movement. He...

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