Freeing El Cap in a day (via Free Rider), and freeing the Salathe Wall were two of my biggest dreams as a climber. It was Heinz Zak who really encouraged me to do both, and he also shot photos on Free Rider with me back in 2003 when I freed it in a day.
We were both sad when Heinz’s schedule didn’t allow him to come out from Austria to shoot the Salathe in November of 2005 after I freed it, but it was a great excuse to get up on El Cap with my old friend Jimmy Chin. We hadn’t had an adventure together since our trip to the Kondus Valley in Pakistan in 2000. At the time, video was not as important as it has become, and the main mission was to shoot photos (which Jimmy did, beautifully!). But being a forward thinker, he grabbed a small Sony videocamera from a friend and decided to shoot a little with it on the side. I came across the old mini DV tapes recently while tidying up in the office, and Sender Films asked me if I had any footage from the Salathe that they could add to the big Yosemite film they have been working on. It was a perfect opportunity to get those old tapes converted to computer files that I could use, and so I finally made a little edit of the Salathe.