In September 2013, Matt Murray, a good friend and climber who I had climbed with before in Russia, Nepal and Colorado invited me on a climb with Paradox Sports of Boulder, Colorado. The climb was going to be a special one to say the least and I was truly pumped to be part of this historical endeavor. Paradox Sports had arranged multiple ascents up rock formations in the world famous Yosemite National Park. The granite monolith El Capitan and Half Dome, were going to be climbed by veterans from the U.S. Military, but most importantly summit day would be September 11th.
When I think about all the experiences I have had over the past so many years, I cannot forget about the attacks on US soil on September 11th, 2001. The wild coincidence was that Yosemite firefighters were battling wild fires, and for weeks after the twin towers in New York fell firefighters were battling a fiery inferno on the city streets of Manhattan. The fires made the climb more sinister because of the rising ash levels during the day and the distant glow of flames that were seen by the team while driving through the park. I lived in New York on September 11th, 2001 and I, just like many others, will never forget how the attacks changed the world and so many innocent lives.
NPR also made it out for the event, you can listen to the story or read it by clicking here.
Special Thanks to the following people and organizations for making this trip possible:
My guides Matt & Rick
Yosemite National Park