We're lucky to be able to surround ourselves with climbers. Turns out that whole "by climbers, for climbers", thing really rings true. Therefore it is not unusual to see a familiar face in the headlines of climbing publications.
This winter, Berkeley Ironworks desk staffer Ben Steel appeared in Rock and Ice.
Last month, Luke Stefurak and Ben Steel completed a long-time project when they made the first free ascent of Scarface (5.12) on the southwest face of Liberty Cap, according to Stefurak’s blog Dream In Vertical. The route was originally climbed in 2010 by Josh Mucci and Steve Bosque and given the aid grading of 5.8 A3 before Stefurak and Steel freed it last month. The free version of Scarface ascends approximately 1,500 feet over twelve pitches before topping out on Liberty Cap. Though most of the route features solid 5.10 and low 5.11 climbing, two 5.12 cruxes at pitches five and eight require thin fingerlocks and laybacking with little to no footholds. On the day of the first ascent, Ben Steel redpointed the first crux, a feat Stefurak had accomplished back in March, while Stefurak finally managed to stick the crux of the eighth pitch. They swapped leads throughout the rest of the lower graded pitches.
To read the whole article, click here.
Since Stefurak and Steel made the first ascent,the route has seen considerable traffic this spring with Boulder Colorado climbers Cedar Wright and Nelly Millfield making the second ascent. A number of parties have climbed into the rock scar as well. Touchstone Blogger, James Lucas headed into the perfect white rock with his partner Jens Holsten this spring. "Scarface features one of the best 5.12 finger cracks in Yosemite," said Lucas. "It's really good." The initial laybacks feature fun, adventurous climbing into the large scar. The route name derives from the prominent feature, an enormous scar which was the result of an 1872 earthquake triggered rock fall. The rockfall has nearly 36,000 cubic meters of rock and destroyed a hotel located at the base of Nevada Falls. It also made an amazing route.
The route is bound to become a classic in Yosemite. Congratulations to Luke and Ben for putting the line together.