Recently, one of my best friends, Neal, just completed an epic three day climb up El Capitan with his friend. Neal is an amazing outdoorsman, excelling at just about any sport you can think of. Climbing El Cap is of course a ridiculously difficult thing to do, and it is just one of the incredible trips he has taken over the last few years.
We are all, as usual, incredibly impressed with Neal, it is awesome that he was able to summit El Cap (of course this is the same individual who runs a marathon after training for 3 weeks and breaks 3 hours ... eat that Lance Armstrong). He would of course tell you that it was not the most technically difficult climb he has done and that he was relatively safe the entire time.
This shows that Neal is brave, ultra-talented and hopelessly nuts.
During this amazing feat, Neal performed such insane stunts as climbing 14 hours a day on almost no sleep because he slept, harnessed in, on 2 square feet of rock over 1,000 feet off then ground. He also crapped and pissed in a tube which he carried with him for three days. He survived a 30 foot fall when he was over a 1000 feet up after his protection blew. On the way out to the base of El Capitan, the bag he and his partner carried out with them weighed so much that the person carrying it could not stand up. This is the bag they hauled up 3000 feet with them.
In honor of these and the many, many other insane, ridiculous (those non-superhumans among us might call stupid) feats Neal has accomplished, I have created this T-shirt ... anyone interested in honoring Neal with this shirt should let me know.
Update 1/9/08: Yet another example of Neal's now patented infallibility, Neal is training for the Boston marathon (yes, because he is that much of a stud). For his first long run he decides to run a 16 mile loop around Cowles mountain, encompassing four large hills. He thinks he should bring some food, so he brings a granola bar. During the run it starts to rain, and by the time Neal reaches the valley after the third hill, there is a river running down the center.
Never one to be sensible, instead of turning around and running the 6 miles back, Neal swims across the river and continues his run. As he runs up the last hill, he notices his arms are tingling, and by the time he crests Cowls mountain he is dizzy and can barely move his legs. He sits down for some time (he tells me he is unsure of how long) and then realizes that if he doesn't move he will die of hypothermia. He starts to walk but can barely move, and realizes his blood sugar is crashing and he needs food. Unfortunately he has eaten his only granola bar long ago.
So he starts going through any garbage cans he can find, lucking out in the sixth can to find a half used dipping tub of ranch dressing in a used McDonalds bag. Feeling a tad better, he moves back to his car, stopping to eat a rotten apricot and a moldy tangerine he finds on the ground. He is completely in the clear when he finds a half drunk bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red, which ups his blood sugar enough to get him back to the car.
And there you have it, Neal almost dies of hypothermia on a training run. Definitely not infallible.