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Return to the Challenge - July 26, 1999 - Day 8

July 26, 1999 - Day 8

The most experienced El Capitan climber on earth, Steve Gerberding, sent a message by cell phone to Mark and Mike: "I have no idea how you guys are going to get through the Grey Bands. That terrain is too tough for a paraplegic. You'd better go around it and find an easier way for Wellman."

Mark disagreed, "We want to do this route in classic style with no shortcuts. We'll find a way. If we wanted something easier we'd have chosen a different route," said Mark, then added with a laugh, "or skipped the whole project and gone to the beach. This ascent is about pushing the limits and breaking through barriers. Otherwise, what's the point?"

By noon today, Mark and Mike had powered through the "Gray Bands," and headed for the most intimidating formation on the entire route, The Great Roof. Moving strongly, the team reached Camp 4, one pitch below the Great Roof, before calling it a good, productive day and making camp. Mike continued, however to set up the ropes for an early start tomorrow.

From now on the terrain gets steeper but more direct, a definite plus for Mark's technique and equipment.

Tomorrow's destination point, Camp 5.

Return to the Challenge - Daily Report, Day 8


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