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In total, 18 men and one woman—Bev Johnson—would be flown to the top of El Cap that day.

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” Since Staats made it, the climb was obviously doable, albeit with no small amount of physical and mental strain.

This is not hyperbole on the part of reporters—the young man had just witnessed his partner’s ugly death, and no doubt feared suffering the same fate himself. Bailey’s accident be traced back to at least one definite, final mistake?

One of these terribly flammable Civilian Conservation Corps–era buildings held the Valley SAR cache.

Ropes, webbing, pitons, bolts, carabiners, sleeping bags, rain gear, and related, vital equipment all went up in smoke.

In fact, he’d just returned from a 14-month trip around the world during which he’d climbed the Matterhorn and other notable European peaks.

On that fateful summer day in 1905, Bailey and his 22-year-old climbing partner J. Staats started clambering up the “almost perpendicular face of the cliff where there is no trail and where man has never placed foot before.” In the midafternoon, the two stopped for a breather nearly halfway up the cliff’s 3,000 feet. Curry of Palo Alto were lowered by rope 600 feet and by 1 o’clock had brought the corpse to a point where it could be taken by others.

This tale begins at sunrise on Saturday, September 23, 1972.

Climber Neal Olsen was leading a difficult section on the twenty-fourth pitch of the Nose on El Capitan, just above Camp V—a set of ledges about 900 feet below the top of the cliff.

In an unlucky accident, he pulled a 125-pound boulder down on himself.

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