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Shield

In terms of difficulty, the Shield is a moderate route, requiring sustained use of aid climbing techniques including, for most climbers, pitons. However, in terms of esthetics, it rates very high among other El Capitan routes for its headwall, which is absolutely flawless and constantly overhanging. Yves Briere (whom I knew only from the internet) and I climbed the Shield in June 1994, spending five nights on the wall.

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The first part of the route (common with the Triple direct) is reminiscent of the Nose : free climbing and clean aid. The harder aid begins on the traverse just below the On lead on the Traverse pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California On beley on the Traverse pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Climbing up the roof pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Rapping down the roof pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Jugging up again the roof pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Leading the Shield Following the Shield Belaying the Triple Cracks, the crux of the route. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Climbing  the Triple Cracks, the crux of the route. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Tuan and Yves on  the Triple Cracks, the crux of the route. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Party on  the Triple Cracks, the crux of the route. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Next morning on the portaledge. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Next morning on the free-hanging line. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Leading the next pitch, a thin crack in the middle of nowhere. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Belaying the following pitch, a thin crack in the middle of nowhere. El Capitan, Yosemite, California The last day, from dawn.... El Capitan, Yosemite, California Dusk on the last day. El Capitan, Yosemite, California A new morning on El Cap after the climb. El Capitan, Yosemite, California

All text and photos © Q.-T. Luong. See conditions for use of images. All the 19 pictures of Shield are on this page