Dawn Wall Ascent Aims to Match Shatnerian Glory

kirk_climbing

Two fearless climbers have captured the eyes of the world this week with their amazing ascent up Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan. After climbing for 18 days and nights, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson today became the first climbers ever to use only their hands and feet to summit a 3,000-foot sheer path called the Dawn Wall. The climb has garnered incredible amounts of media attention. El Capitan is of course known to Trek fans, who saw Captain Kirk free climb it in Star Trek V.

STV: Captain Kirk is Climbing the Mountain
While STV is not regarded as one of the better Trek movies (in fact, it is usually at the very bottom of the list) the scene perfectly matches the theme of the movie: our hero tries to achieve the unachievable, fails, but finds his companionship with his friends is more valuable. And of course, it also gave us this:

A grueling climb
Climb along with Tommy and Kevin who documented their journey from bottom to top. And, feel free to discuss “who climbed it better” in the comments.

climbers
Tommy and Kevin make camp
Photo credit: NYT

 


 

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VOODOO

Crazy bastards!

Phil

Losers. Kirk did it in an afternoon….

Captain Dunsel

I get vertigo on a STEPSTOOL. I simply can’t *imagine* doing something like this!

Does this mean that they carried all that gear along with 18 days worth of food, water, and the … uh… hmmm… (trying to be delicate here) “aftermath” with them?

Khan 2.0

Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain. why is he climbing the mountain?

to..hug the mountain…to..envelop..that mountain. he wants to make love to the mountain

why does he climb the mountain?

because hes in love

Chingatchkook

Putting up a tent on the side of a vertical rock cliff… I get sphincter constriction just looking at that. Egads.

The Insider

On a side note. I thought this to be important news that ‘Trekmovie.com’ might be interested in.

CW President Says He Wants Star Trek Series For The Network

http://www.treknews.net/2015/01/14/cw-president-wants-star-trek-tv/

cz

As I recall he fell, but wait JJ and Bob will remake it and guess what will happen…My two cents.

Jack

Ha! I’ve been waiting for this to come up since I first saw these guys’ diaries (NYTimes, I think), first drawn there by a shot of an absurdly fit shirtless guy in a tent. Very much not Shatner.

Jack

6. Ha. Yesterday, this next time, Spock will fall and Kirk will save him with flying ski boots (while uttering the same lines but reversed) — because, poetry.

Disinvited

Spoiler Alert:

They made it.

Dan

The Dawn Wall stands out by sheer technical difficulty. 5.14d is close to what is humanly possible to climb (5.15c as of 2013) and most pitches are not much easier.

Kirks free-solo of El Capitan is better compared to what Alex Honnold did in 2012, only that he did three bigwalls, including El Capitan, in a day:
http://youtu.be/uQb4_8PyZBM

The “tent” is called a portaledge (portable ledge) and the top cover is optional. Given the cold temperatures, storms and raining chunks of ice they had falling down on them I can see why they used it.

Why climb in winter anyway? Presumably to avoid sweat on the fingers, which could have made the difficult moves impossible. Kevin struggled for a long time on pitch 15 and had to wait until his fingers healed to climb it.

They did carry (most) of their supplies (and waste) with them, but spent a good part of the day helping the photographers getting set up to document their ascent. Since this prolonged the duration of the climb they had some friends bring up re-supplies of fresh water, batteries to stay connected to the internet and of course booze!

Here is a good writeup with lots of pictures for each day:
http://www.elcapreport.com/archive/201501

LT Bailey

They have more courage (skill) than I do, that’s for sure. I also agree with number #5 that the tent to sleep in on the side of the cliff secured by a few ropes and caribiners just is too much for me, I could never sleep sound thinking about a loose rope. However, I do have give them my heartfelt congratulations on their feat. I wonder if Shatner gave them a wake up call?

Decent Robot

Um Shatner climbed a fake wall in a parking lot _near_ El Capitan guys. Sorry you risked your lives for this…

http://mather.photoshelter.com/image/I0000MV9.7_rYTTQ

Captain Anders

18 days — Besides those two guys being nuts and I know I could never do it, I have just one question (and I am serious), how in Gods name do you relieve you bowels (to not be too vulgar) while you are climbing something like that???

Those guys have major gravitas and some massive cahones.

Qapla’ ‘ej majQa’

hope that is correct.

Jack

*not sure how the word yesterday appeared in my post. *it was meant for cz, ER, which is now #7.

People seem very excited on here about that Star Trek CW quote. But does it actually mean anything since CBS owns the rights?

Dan

As for #14, the term to search for is poop tube. E.g. Chris McNamara has a tutorial how to make one without spending money on something commercial: http://youtu.be/KdU_bG9Lioc

Disinvited

# 15. Jack – January 14, 2015

” People seem very excited on here about that Star Trek CW quote. But does it actually mean anything since CBS owns the rights?” — Jack

It sure does as the “C” in “CW” stands for CBS, half owner of the CW and the half that runs all of it. It was formed by the merger of the old UPN and WB networks. WB owns half but decided to remain a silent partner.

cz

Qapla’ ‘ej majQa’

may be correct but COHONES is spelled COJONES in proper spanish.

but I’/other I’m sure understood you.

message to somebody else:
Don’t ruin an already bad movie by telling me/others that Kirk climbed a fake El Capitan
When I see Star Trek (yes even INTO DARKNESS) everything is real…

Chris Roberts

@13. I take it you’re one of those El Capitan conspiracy theorists then… ;)

Chris Roberts

It’s all very well… but now they’ve got to go back down, because someone forgot the flag.

Captain Dunsel

@14 Captain Anders
That was sort of my question at post #3 as well. All I had running through my head was a line from a Tom Lehrer song, saying (of Santa’s Reindeer) “Don’t stand underneath when they fly by…”

Captain Dunsel

@11. Dan

“5.14d is close to what is humanly possible to climb (5.15c as of 2013)”

‘Splain please? What means this “5.14d” and “5.15c”?

Nancy Hartshorn

These people are why “the record for free-climbing El Capitan is in no danger of being broken.” , because they did it first! Nancy

Danpaine

McCoy’s observations during that scene are priceless. Good stuff.

Disinvited

# 20. Chris Roberts – January 15, 2015

” It’s all very well… but now they’ve got to go back down, because someone forgot the flag.” — Chris Roberts

As the purpose of this article was to note its similarity to a Trek movie stunt, one has to note that Kirk didn’t have one either. Besides, as in the movie, those climbers weren’t the first to reach the top for the very first time. Just the first to do it in this extremely challenging style of climb.

Chain of command

@6

I saw that too! Would be interesting to see if there is any traction regarding a new Star Trek series.

In regards to this article:

I can’t even imagine climbing that mountain. I get shaky on a ladder ten feet off of the ground. I also can’t believe they “pitched a tent” as seen in that picture. That is terrifying.

BatlethInTheGroin

#6: There’s nothing newsworthy in that article. It basically says “Sure, I’d like to do it, but that’s not happening.”

You should only climb this mountain sans rope and pitons if you have a Vulcan with levitation boots handy!

Keachick (Rose)

Of course William Shatner did not climb El Capitane, but Captain Kirk did attempt the climb. Quite a difference.

This is what fake walls, green screens, stunt doubles, other is about.

Wow, some real life guys actually made it to the top of the real mountain, doing that style of climb. Freaky and amazing! What’s more, they did what the captain of the Enterprise didn’t do, then again Kirk had Spock distracting him…:)

Bill Peters

Is Shatnerian actually a word? or are they going to have to add it to the Oxford Dictionary?

Jack

@Disinvited. Really? Holy cow. Embarrassingly, I had no idea (I need to buy me a set of wikipedias, I guess).

Phil

@29. You don’t realize just how big that rock is until you drive into the Yosemite Valley for the first time.

P Technobabble

Kirk falling off the mountain contained some of the absolute worst FX… I can’t even talk about it…

Platitude

Man, that stuff in Star Trek V was pretty awful. Kudos to those guys for doing it legit.

Jack

Anyone read the book Shatner’s daughter (ghost?)wrote while the thing was being filmed? Very Shatnerian. He griped not about the awful Ferren effects but about the studio not giving him dough for his Eye of God shot — a shot that started at the centre of the universe, then focused on on earth and then zoomed in on the earth from above straight to Yosemite, to where Kirk was on the side of the mountain. Because that would have made it better.

Hmmm. I’m intrigued by this CW thing now (I hasn’t realized that CBS owns Showtime too). The CW has a few decent genre shows (Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, the 100 [which has actually gotten really decent this season]).

Elias Javalis

I ll always love TFF.. Faulty, yes but one of the six classic TOS movies.

Jack

*although it was a response to a reporter asking specifically whether CW would ever do Star Trek — and he did say he wasn’t aware of any plans for Trek to go to TV. So pretty general stuff.

But maybe down the road. Unless they’re still burnt by UPN’s experience with Enterprise etc? :)

Disinvited

# 34. Platitude – January 15, 2015

” Man, that stuff in Star Trek V was pretty awful. Kudos to those guys for doing it legit.” — Platitude

Quick, in a climbing awful-off who wins the razzie for worst:

Stallone in CLIFFHANGER.
Shatner in ST:V.
What’s his name in VERTICAL LIMIT?

I should confess I find all three dirty pleasures for reasons that have nothing to do with the climbing.

Red Dead Ryan

#38.

“Quick, in a climbing awful-off who wins the razzie for worst:

Stallone in CLIFFHANGER.
Shatner in ST:V.
What’s his name in VERTICAL LIMIT?

I should confess I find all three dirty pleasures for reasons that have nothing to do with the climbing.”

All these movies suck. All of them featured bad acting by the lead actors, and lame villains to boot. And the other lead actor was Chris O’Donnell in “Veritical Limit”.

I prefer documentaries about mountain climbing. “The Summit”, “Everest”, “The Wildest Dream: Conquest Of Everest” and “Beyond the Edge”.

Red Dead Ryan

And the idea of rocket boots is pretty stupid. What happens if they run out of power/fuel 500 ft up in the air?

Disinvited

# 40. Red Dead Ryan – January 16, 2015

” And the idea of rocket boots is pretty stupid. What happens if they run out of power/fuel 500 ft up in the air?” — Red Dead Ryan

Didn’t JPL prove with the Mars robot explorers that properly designed airbags will suffice?

Red Dead Ryan

Airbags that protect the shoes (but not the wearer) on impact?

I suppose the shoes could also come with parachutes, but the wearer would be hanging upside down on the way down to the ground.

Disinvited

#42. Red Dead Ryan – January 16, 2015

Obviously, for safety, the outfit would have to be an uniflated airbag ensemble and not just a pair of stylish boots. Although, I share your aggravation in that they have antigrav levitation devices (I believe they used two on NOMAD in its countdown to destruction.) so why would the boots have to serve the function of lift when all they’d have to do is provide locomotion?

I also recall when Spock went down faster than the acceleration due to gravity to catch Kirk I fully expected him to do it upside down to confirm he had antigrav.

Jack

41. Antigravity! It can do anything you want it to.

Phil

Just how did the concept of antigravity come to mean propulsion, anyway?

Xplodin_Nacelle

I always thought that the TFF sfx shot, of The Shat falling off the mountain, reminded me of the effects from the 50’s Superman TV series. This is especially true when The Shat is flailing his legs as the mountainside is supposedly rushing past him. – Great throwback stuff!

Congrats on your modern day achievement, guys!!!