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AAC International Climbers’ Meet: Report #3

Posted on: October 12th, 2012 by The AAC

By Carol Kotchek, AAC Accountant and ICM Coordinator 

Looking out at Half Dome. Andrew Burr

Tues Oct 9: Most of the participants took off on longer routes: East Buttress of El Cap, Snake Dike, and Royal Arches. By 9 p.m. all parties had returned except six climbers on Royal Arches. We were concerned but decided to take no action until the morning. Fortunately at 5 a.m. I heard a car door slam; the climbers had arrived back safely. They had topped out around sunset and then took the night to come down the descent gully setting up single rope rappels for the less experienced climbers with the more experienced climbers retrieving the ropes and downclimbing. For my part, I’m glad I didn’t have to explain to the home office how 10% of our participants disappeared. All in all, Royal Arches, car-to-car in less than 24 hours—no speed record but a good epic story to tell.

The classic Royal Arches route.

Wed, Oct 10: Rob Pizem gave an offwidth clinic at the base of El Cap. About 30 people attended. Rob had infinite amounts of energy as he patiently taught everyone techniques ranging from hand jams to fist stacks. We had numerous top-ropes up so we could torture ourselves with these new techniques. Rob is an extraordinary person. Besides climbing 5.13 trad, he’s raising a family, and works full time teaching alternative high school in Grand Junction, Colorado. Who says that you have to climb full-time to be a bad ass?

Rob Pizem

About the ICM: The International Climbers’ Meet (ICM) is an annual event—taking place this year during the week of Oct 8 – October 13, 2012 in Yosemite Valley. Participants must have some climbing experience but all abilities are welcome to apply. The goal of the program is to host a diverse group of climbing abilities from a multitude of countries.

You can follow what’s going on by checking out the ICM Facebook page.

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