I woke up one day last week and thought somebody had broken into my house. I heard a strange rustling noise in the living room and slowly crept downstairs to investigate. I tiptoed through the kitchen as the rustling grew louder. Preparing to fend off some intruder I jumped around the corner into the living room and promptly started laughing at myself. There was no one there. The sound was just a heating vent blowing air into the large fronds of a house plant.
"Well," I thought to myself, "Heat's on for the first time. It is officially fall in Seattle."
Hard to believe we're already well into October, right? Where did the last few months go? Seems like just yesterday that I was waiting for the sun to wring the spring moisture from this damp corner of the country, my head full of plans and ideas for the summer that lay ahead. That summer's gone now. Most of those plans went uncompleted and few of those ideas came to fruition. But a lot of new plans cropped up, and unexpected opportunities were seized by the horns. All in all it was a pretty rad couple of months.
I thought I'd wrap it all up in one neat package for anyone who's interested. So, here it is. An act in seven parts. The Highlights of Summer 2012.
Part I - Yosemite
It all started off with a bang when I got the chance to go to Yosemite in June for a little "business" trip.
In May my boss, Fitz, had asked me, "Austin, do you want to go climb El Cap next month?" The "Yes" was out of my mouth before he even finished the question, and soon we were driving south on I-5 with a car full of climbing gear and camera equipment.
For nearly two years Fitz had been documenting the story of climber Craig DeMartino, who lost his right leg in 2003 following a 100-foot ground fall in Colorado. Craig had since come back to climbing - ticking routes up to 5.12d and climbing The Nose in a day along the way - but he still wanted to complete an all-disabled ascent of El Cap. He already tried once in 2011, but he and his partner, Jarem Frye, had to turn back a few pitches up Lurking Fear when Jarem's prosthetic leg fell off.