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Reticent

The Reticent wall was considered in 1999 to be the most difficult big-wall route on El Capitan, and therefore technically one of the most difficult routes in the world. In the spring of that year, Ky-Van and I came along to take photos of Valerio Folco and Tom McMillan at the base of the route. I then hiked to the top of El Capitan and rapped down to photograph the last two pitches.

Valerio Folco takes a break from hauling bags Valerio Folco belaying Tom McMillan Valerio Folco ascending the rope Valerio Folco getting ready to lead a pitch Valerio Folco leaving  the belay Valerio Folco leading the third pitch Valerio Folco leading the third pitch Valerio Folco leading the third pitch Ky-Van following the third pitch Valerio Folco and Tom McMillan on the crux pitch (second to last) Valerio Folco leads the long and complex crux pitch, taking more than half a day Valerio Folco at the belay, Tom McMillan cleaning the crux pitch Tom McMillan leaves the belay on the last pitch Tom McMillan leaves the belay on the last pitch Tom McMillan and Valerio Folco on the last pitch Tom McMillan and Valerio Folco on the last pitch Sorting the gear at the top of the wall Valerio Folco and Tom McMillan with gear at the top of the wall Taking a break while going down the east ledges Going down the east ledges

All photos and text Copyright © QT Luong