“Certain that Bob had me, I unclipped from the anchors, leaned back – and then free-fell nearly 200 feet to the ground.” I kept telling myself, “Don’t close your eyes Wendy, don’t close your eyes.”
Wendy Ong is the only person to have fallen nearly 200 feet (70m), survive, go on to rock climb, ice-climb, and ski at high levels with a T-10 Spinal Cord Injury; survive sepsis and climb her hardest trad route as a paraplegic (5.12- Cloud Tower, Red Rocks, Nevada) a few months later; ski her way across North America; and be the only para to ski, ice-climb, and rock climb in the space of less than ten days.
Royal Robbins, a legendary rock climber who helped define the rules of engagement for the sport, dies on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at the age of 82.
Born in 1935, Robbins grew up in Southern California much like most other working-class children spending segmented years between trailer parks before learning how to climb in the early 1950s. His first tackle was Tahquitz, a granite crag that includes nearly featureless sections across its routes and is notorious for loose rock on its North Side. His daring first run would be a testament to his audacious achievements in the future, which struck awe in his followers.
Alex Honnold, arguably the world’s greatest free climber and center of a climbing controversy, has been featured in a series of television specials profiling his epic achievements. In the February issue of Rock and Ice magazine, he’s featured in an interview spread covering his feelings about death, which seems to have become the hanging topic over Honnold’s head – “Does he know he will most likely die doing what he’s doing?”