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Return to the Challenge - July 29, 1999 - Day 11

July 29, 1999 - Day 11

"It's sweeter the second time!" says Mark Wellman upon checking in at 11:45 tonight.

Working five pitches up from Camp Six and some scrambling at the top, Mark and Mike "Topped-out" at 8:00 this evening. Leaving behind eleven days, ten nights and three thousand vertical feet of gleaming granite the climbers were welcomed by friends and well-wishers bearing the traditional champagne and celebratory congratulations.

As of 4:30 this afternoon, Mark was feeling exuberant yet physically taxed, his fingers a little numb, his forearms and upper body tired from performing the over 6000 chin-ups that brought him to the top of the world's highest cliff. His second wind was driving him onward and there was no doubt of a glorious completion today. Mike is elated, feeling energetic, terrific and happy having helped make it possible for Mark to accomplish this feat. After fueling up on canned tuna he was set to go, ready to complete the day's mission.

In the inimitable words and way of Mr. Warren Harding, "This is absolutely fantastic!"

At 11:45 PM the climbers checked in, having set up camp for the night and feasting on fresh homemade chile prepared by one of the mule team guides who will assist the guys on their trek out from the top of El Capitan.

After a good night's sleep, the pair will leave their overnight campsite, Mark on horseback, Mike on foot, to the nearest campground, about nine miles up trail, to pick up their ride to the Yosemite Valley Floor. There, they will hold a press conference before heading to the showers.

Please check in tomorrow for more comments and pictures from the last moments on "The Rock".




Return to the Challenge - Daily Report, Day 11

 

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