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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.

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

All photos and text Copyright © QT Luong