ASCEND

Surely you've heard about the two men attempting to become the first to free club the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Free climb, that's using only hands and feet to propel  up the mountain -- a rope serves only to catch a fall. The duo, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, climb only at night -- when the winter 'heat' is less likely to bring a sweat to their fingers and hands they search for ledges and cracks and crevices to crawl their way up the sheer face of a mountain. Dawn Wall is considered the most difficult rock climb in the world.  

photo by Corey Rich/Aurora Photos 

photo by Corey Rich/Aurora Photos 

While waiting for the sun to set, Caldwell (above) performs what he calls 'ledge yoga',  Here he is in Uttiha Hasta Tadasana. Arms lifted in mountain pose -- Tadasana.  

Photo by Corey Rich/Aurora Photos

Photo by Corey Rich/Aurora Photos

Kevin Jorgeson (above) rests perched in his hanging cot, thousands of feet above the ground. Jorgeson surveys the conditions of his finger tips, which need to be continually sanded, to prepare for the nighttime climb ahead.  

The intention is to reach the summit in thirty-two pitches, or sequences, without ever returning to the ground. Regardless of weather, mental or emotional fatigue. Their practice is a stunning example of patience, perseverance and poise. Clearly, this the only way to ascend anything in life.

photo by SparkShop

photo by SparkShop