Ladies On El Capitan
This season has seen a number of female climbers crushing El Capitan, stepping into the areana of big wall free and aid climbing.
Kate Rutherford and Madeline Sorkin just made the first female team free ascent of El Capitan, climbing The Freerider (5.12d) over the course of five days last week. They swapped leads up the entire route placing traditional protection and cruising the diffuclt cracks
Berkeley local, Melissa Michelitsch is currently topping out a week long ascent of The Muir (5.9 c2) Wall on the left side of El Capitan. This route follows a series of long corners to the right of The Heart feature and to the left of the Nose.
Also, Emily Stifler, Lorna Illingworth, and Madeline made an all female ascent of Lurking Fear, a route on the far left side of El Capitan. The route follows a long slab section before turning into a series of splitter cracks and then a difficult traverse. The route has seen some redpoint free ascents, including an ascent by Beth Rodden, but is primarily an aid climb that climbs clean at 5.9 C2.
For those that want further instruction about wall climbing, Steve Schneider gives big wall clinics in the spring at the Touchstone Gyms. There's also a Bay Area Women's climbing group started on Facebook to help women climb with other women. Additionally, Berkeley Ironworks staff often have Women's Climbing Clinics. Grab one of the Touchstone Newsletters at the Front Desks of every gym to find more about tese awesome ongoing events.