Day 5 of the Dawn Wall


Tommy and Kevin are making superb progress.  They had 3 super strong days climbing all the way through pitch 10.  The awesome part about their progress is that they are still feeling great.  Tommy told me last night that it’s the best he’s ever felt at this point on the wall and his skin is holding up well (which has always been an issue in the past).  Their rest day yesterday was timed perfectly with high winds and cold temps. Tommy sending pitch 11 today.  Photo:  Brett LowellToday’s business was pitch 11 (5.13c) and 12 (5.14b).  I was really curious what was going to happen today.  Pitch 12 is the pitch that gets their toes wet before they dive in to the crux pitches just ahead, and it has been a bit of a struggle in the past.  Tommy just called a couple hours ago with amazing news that he and Kevin both sent pitch 12.  On their first push attempt in 2010 it took Tommy 5 tries to finish this pitch and Kevin was never able to red point it. Here’s a little excerpt from the blog in 2010 from their pitch 12 attempt:Waiting for them was pitch 12, which follows a left facing dihedral up until it kind of disappears and then it looks to be like traversing face climbing towards the end. Tommy commented that the first 30 feet is full of pumpy moves and the rest is very technical. He said the feet are terrible and no matter what you do they always have a high risk of slipping. By 10pm last night the boys had given the pitch 4 and 5 burns EACH before Tommy finally pulled through and got it. I believe Kevin’s last burn was his fifth try with no success for that night.Tommy’s second push attempt in 2011 was just as nerve wracking on pitch 12 and took as many tries if not more.  That was the year I was up there belaying him and it was heartbreaking…he would get so close to the end and his feet would slip.  After a full on battle he did make it through that year. The fact the guys made it through pitch 12 so quickly is huge!!!  This means tomorrow they will warm up with pitch 13 (5.12d) and then meet the moment and do battle with pitch 14 (5.14 ).  Tommy said tonight that he thinks pitch 14 is probably the hardest pitch of the whole route.  This was the pitch that after 6 years of trying it over and over again Tommy finally red pointed this year and Kevin was painfully close as well.  So let’s hope they have their beta down, are feeling strong, get primo conditions, the stars align and they can start out 2015 right with a team send of pitch 14!! Keep sending the love to these guys!!!  Happy New Year!Tommy and Kevin at home on the wall.  Photo: Brett LowellTommy at the end of pitch 10 the other day.  Photo:  Brett LowellA little flashback to Fitz in the Valley this past November.  Wishing you all the best in 2015!


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