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Yellow Crack Direct

by Lynn Hill
Late Summer 2008

By the mid-70s, climbing style had become much more than just a way of climbing, but a philosophical attitude toward life. Most of us were liberal, nonconformist nature types who prided ourselves on living simply and on the cheap to maximize our time on the rock. This minimalist approach to life carried through to climbing: We aspired to do the most challenging climbs with the least material aids, reducing our impact on the rock while striving for purity and adventure.

In 1983, I moved to New Paltz, New York, and joined forces with a dedicated band of Shawangunks climbers, with whom I began pushing myself on increasingly difficult traditional-style routes. We took pride in climbing in the best style possible and didn’t hangdog
or pre-inspect our routes from above. Most of our new routes were fairly heady since they followed steep, poorly protected faces.

About the Author
Since her very first climb when, at age 14, she led a small route at Big Rock, California, Lynn Hill has forged her own path and challenged our preconceptions. She’s gone from teenage peripatetic climber to worldrenowned superstar to devoted mother, along the way inspiring entire generations of climbers. She has won more than 30 international sport-climbing titles, climbed big-wall firsts in Madagascar and Kyrgyzstan, and her futuristic one-day free ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in 1994 remains one of the greatest rock climbs in history. Perhaps most impressively, however, is her view of climbing as more than an athletic pursuit – she defines it as “a vehicle for evolving as a person, learning about the world, and sharing those experiences with others.”