With summer right around the corner there are a ton of activities that make for fun times in the sun, including rock climbing.
Celebrities such as Jamie Dornan and Kristen Bell are climber enthusiasts and for good reason. The workout is tough, but an amazing experience that will you leave you breathless and exhilarated all at once. But what happens when night falls?
This week world-class free climber Kevin Jorgeson brought his incredible experience of achieving the near-impossible climb of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in 19 days to a demo of night climbing to a few lucky New Yorkers. El Capitan at best gets as little as two hours of light daily, so it makes a night climb one of the toughest in the world. Everything from the gear to the mindset has to be fine-tuned and always powered up – that includes needing batteries for one’s headgear.
Leading the lesson along with his father Eric, Kevin shared the experience with the lucky group who got an excellent taste of the dark challenge. Night climbing is about the sport, as much is about the mental challenge and assurance you need in having the best gear to succeed. During his free climb of the Dawn Wall, Kevin trusted Duracell Quantum to power him through his night climbs and bring him one step closer to reaching the top. Knowing that every moment counts there seems no better way to do it in this challenging environment.
We sat down with Kevin and Eric to get their take on the experience:
What was it like climbing in the dark? What was the visual you saw?
A funny thing happens at night. You see the texture of the rock better than in the daylight. In the sun the flat daylight granite looks like glass. But, at nighttime with the light you get from the headgear creates all these shadows on the ripples of the wall. You can actually see the holes you are standing on and grab much better. They appear bigger than they are and it is like this little mind trick.
Can you describe what you took with you during the climb. What is something interesting that no one would suspect?
I brought more pairs of shoes than packs of batteries. I probably went through a dozen pairs of climbing shoes. You are standing on surfaces that are like little razor blades and the rubber just gets abused. The shoe structure starts to have less support. You need a fresh out-of-the-box feel and once they start to wear you need to swap them out. But, I think I only changed batteries one time in the three weeks we were up there. I was super shocked how long they lasted.
You must of felt such a great sense of security when your son was up there knowing that he had Duracell behind him.
Early on as a parent you are more scared and thinking, oh why did he pick this sport as a kid. But, as the years go by you do become more comfortable knowing that he is using the best gear. And he is climbing with experienced climbers. So, I just became more relaxed knowing he is with the best people, the best harness, the best ropes and the best batteries. That gives a great sense of relief as a parent.
Kevin also announced during the session a contest tied to his recent video campaign with Duracell to encourage more people to get outdoors and find their own Dawn Wall. To see his recent video, go to www.youtube.com/OfficialDuracell.