Yosemite Speed Accents

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I've been reading some of the speed accent times compiled by Hans Florine and I'm absolutely amazed! I know your good Hans (and others) but REALLY! You guys must be flying!

What are some of the technique/tricks of the trade for the long free routes like on the Cathedrals or Astroman? Do you have to run it out a lot? How far between pro placements? I'm sure intimate familiarity with every hold and stem on a climb helps tremendously especially with the rack you carry on a given pitch but the second still has to carry the rest. How do you maintain a solid margin of safety on the belays when moving that fast? Bolted belay anchors probably speed thing up but what about the natural belays? Do you block lead pitches or swing leads? Do you often simul-climb (scary!)? Do you use two ropes tied to allow combining pitches (sounds heavy not to mention passing the knot)?

Bottom line: What are some of the techniques required to improve your climbing efficiency enough to approach these unbelievable times?!! At least for us mortals.

-- Bruce Maples (bmaples@cinele.com), August 24, 1999


Check out Bill Wright's trip report about how he and Hans set a speed record of 4 hours on the East Butt of LOWER Cathedral. Bill shares some of Hans' methods at:


-- George Bell (gibell@geocities.com), August 24, 1999.

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