WASHINGTON COLUMN

Posted on: December 1, 2002


June 3. Temperatures were already starting to soar in Yosemite. The token week of spring had long since passed, apart from a freakish cold snap that had dropped graupel and sleet two days before. Sleep had come notably easy. I woke at 4:45 a.m., rested and feeling that this was the day. I still hadn't redpointed "Planck's Constant," the second pitch of the route, but had been on it half a dozen times in two months. Three of these efforts were serious redpoint attempts.

Everything was lining up well. Jay "Shaggy" Selvidge also felt unusually fresh and alive. There was a good feeling in the air. We had anticipated the day when everything would come together and we would find ourselves walking to the base with this feeling.

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Our intentions were realized. Planck's went down with fifty feet of (mostly positive) steep laybacking, smeary feet, slamming in everything from a number four Camelot to a six Yates. I chose to skip a reachy clip in the middle of a bouldery move to conserve energy and the pitch saw its first redpoint. I would go on to successfully redpoint every pitch that day, leading all six crux pitches of 5.12 or 5.13 to establish Quantum Mechanic (V 5.13a, 15 pitches).

— Rob Miller, USA

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