to the Challenge - July
23, 1999 - Day 5
23, 1999 - Day 5
and Mike are moving faster now. They reached their day's objective,
the imposing mass of El Cap Tower, by 4:30 in the afternoon.
feeling great right now, healthy, strong and really working well
as a team," said Mark, resting airily on his Portaledge, about
1200 feet off the ground. "Mike is back in full "stonemaster"
mode, cranking off the pitches and working the loads with a big
smile on his face. I can hardly tell you how great this feels,
but I'm really glad to be up here."
the cheering section in El Cap meadow this afternoon were two
paraplegics and a quadriplegic in their wheelchairs. They had
just driven to Yosemite from the San Francisco Bay Area to watch
Mark and Mike. "Does the general public have any idea how incredible
this is to have a para climbing El Capitan?" asked Gary Hughes,
a full quadriplegic from England. "I mean look, 90% of the able-bodied
people in the world don't have the strength to do this. And another
90% don't have the psychological ability to overcome their fear
of heights. So here's this cripple up there, doing it all. I'm
proud of him.. Tell him he's crazy, and I usually don't give out
compliments that freely."
Michael Patton, a paraplegic for one year and two weeks added,
"Seeing Mark up there proves that nothing can stop us."
After four days on the wall, Mark and Mike are fully accustomed
to the vertical environment. It's dangerous, demanding, and dry
up there, a hard, merciless world whose only compensating virtue
is a beauty so stunning that climbers come back for more, year
after year, decade after decade. Now, Mark Wellman has proven
that here, too, is a world accessible to the disabled.
to day 6...
to the Challenge - Daily Report, Day 5
1 - July 19,1999 | Day 2 - July 20, 1999
| Day 3 - July 21, 1999 |
Day 4 - July 22, 1999
Day 5 - July 23, 1999 | Day
6 - July 24, 1999 | Day 7 - July 25th,
1999 | Day 8 - July 26th, 1999
Day 9 - July 27th, 1999 |
Day 10 - July 28th, 1999 | Day 11 - July
Final Day - Day 12 - July 30, 1999