Adventure: The Conquest of El Capitcm

It was a classic feat: two men against the unforgiving granite face of a mountain. From a beginning without fanfare, through a frustrating, storm-slowed ascent to a triumphant end, the assault on the Wall of the Early Morning Light —the sheerest approach to the summit of Yosemite's El Capitan Peak—was an atavism. For those who watched, it was like all high adventure, an escape from the ambiguities of ordinary life where seldom are there clean, finite beginnings, middles and ends to anything, and unalloyed success is rarer still.

Warren Harding (no kin...

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