From: Hans Florine flt [mailto:Hans@speedclimb.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2002 8:03 AM
Subject: Yuji - Salathe 2002!
September 19th- Yuji FREE CLIMBED the whole Salathe route* in 13 hours!
- he took the offwidth variation below the spire, and the Huber variation instead of the Teflon corner. BIG LINK UP! - Yuji climbed from Sois le tois ledge to Long Ledge in TWO PITCHES! He belayed at the lip of the roof/beginning-of-the-headwall!
No falls in this 13 hours! Amazing. Tommy did this with no falls in 19 hours.
The link-up Yuji did is normally done as FIVE pitches. Even by Jim Herson, though Jim has linked from Sous Le Toit to the roof (just two pitches). The first pitch of Sous Le Toit has been rated from 11b to 11d. I've free climbed on TR (with lots of hanging and power belaying) and it seems to be at least 11c to lead. The next pitch is rated 12b. When Jim linked these pitches, he called it 12d. Yuji put those two together with the Salathe Roof pitch (12a). This combo has got to be 13a.
Then Yuji climbed the entire headwall in one pitch. This is normally done as two these days, but Skinner/Piana did it as three pitches, I think. They are both 13b, I think. I think Jim Herson has nearly linked these pitches before. Yuji is likely the first to do it and after all the other climbing, this is truly amazing. The link-up has to be 13c/d for these pitches as there isn't really any rest. Heck, both Herson and Caldwall have fall right at the anchors at the top of the first headwall pitch before, yet Yuji had to launch straight into the 13b Boulder Problem pitch. The dude is STRONG!!
It must be noted that Yuji avoided two of the hardest pitches on the route: the 13c 19th pitch (only Herson had redpointed this pitch) and the Teflon Corner (12d and a short crux, but an EXTREMELY technique stemming crux).
Exciting news from the Valley, indeed! Hopefully it will motivated you to get out and do something great.