Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Climbing with Hans

A few weeks ago, Eric and I were at the climbing gym when we noticed that Hans Florine was giving a lecture. (Hans Florine is an American climber famous for holding the world record for the fastest climb up El Captain, in Yosemite.) We thought to ourselves, "hell yeah we should go to that!" I was actually amazed that the bouldering wall and big walls didn't completely lose climbers when his lecture started. I guess that goes to show who the real climbers are.

The Nose of El Captain

Hans was hilarious. He showed us some video of him and Yugi (his climbing partner) hustling up the nose on El Captain, more than once. He shared stories of failed attempts, and records that were broken three days later by his rivals. Hans prepared a slide show of information we needed to know about the climb, and the history of his ascents. There were other hard core climbers in the audience, and some of them had also climbed with Hans before.

At the end of the lecture Hans was signing books, posters, and DVDs. We ended up buying a copy of Wall Rats, which is a movie about Hans Florine taking a couple of advanced child climbers up the the nose El Cap. Good thing they took credit cards! We also got a signed poster, which is always a plus.

It's been so much fun learning the history of climbing. It's a relatively new sport, and some (if not most) of the record setters are still alive to tell their stories. Not many sports have that going for them. Seeing people like Hans go out there and tell their stories reminds me why I like climbing. It creates adventure, laughs, stories, and friendships. And I love all of those things!

YouTube: High - Low
Masters of Stone Clip of Hans and Yugi setting a speed record on The Nose

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