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Zodiac

Zodiac is the most accessible route with sustained aid-climbing on El Capitan. It is consistently steep (slighly overhanging) with many traverses and a couple of wild spots. The climbing is enjoyable, from wide cracks to thin seams, and all the techniques (free, hooks, clean gear, nailing) have to be used. Amanda Tarr, Ken Younge, and myself climbed this route in June 1996. It turned out to be my last big-wall climb.

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Big wall gear used to climb Zodiac. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Sorting big wall gear used to climb Zodiac. El Capitan, Yosemite, California First pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Going up the fixed rope, first pitch. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Quite a social experience with old friends.... El Capitan, Yosemite, California Traffic jam on the fixed pitches. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Chance encounters, a party follows us on Zodiac. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Crowded belay. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Crowded belay. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Lonely belay. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Crowded portaledge camp. El Capitan, Yosemite, California A The belayer can relax once the rivet ladder is reached. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Comfy belay in a huge chair. El Capitan, Yosemite, California A ledge is even better. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Waking up on the portaledge. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Waking up on the portaledge. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Looking for breakfast on the portaledge. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Lazy morning. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Lots of haul bags. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Climbing Zodiac in the sun. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Climbing Zodiac in the shade. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Climbing Zodiac at night. El Capitan, Yosemite, California Back on flat ground at least. El Capitan, Yosemite, California

All text and photos © Q.-T. Luong. See conditions for use of images. All the 24 pictures of Zodiac are on this page