Friday, April 22, 2011

Pics of ‘Free-climbers’ defy death, gravity

The motto for the next generation of extreme-climbers who scale the forbidding peaks of Yosemite National Park in California may as well be this: Mountaineering tools are for wusses. So-called free-climbers pit themselves against the swooping, protruding faces of Yosemite using little more than their own chalked-hands-on-rock agility.

This is not to say that free-climbers scorn all amenities. As they pitch tents alongside a mountain face, suspended thousands of feet above the ground, they sip coffee from their own French presses, and fiddle with their iPhones, which run on solar-powered chargers. Say whatever you will about the Yosemite crew's death-defying stunts: At this elevation, they probably get pretty good cell reception.

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