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El Capitan by chateaugrief El Capitan by chateaugrief

El Capitan (the one on the left) is a 3000 foot tall piece of granite that today is possibly the world’s most favorite challenge for rock climbers, but it wasn’t always that way.  In fact, everyone believed that it was impossible to climb until 1958.  The challenges to climbing were immense, the rock face is vertical or overhanging for nearly the entire ascent, and tis’ rated at like 5.1+ something for the whole time.  This statistic is meaningless to me as a non-rock climber, so here’s a photo of the Dawn Wall that sufficiently conveys the difficulty: s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsw… (This is, I believe, Tommy Caldwell whose amazing story of overcoming a devastating radioactive spider bite in high school to become one of the world’s premier insane people is an inspiration to climbers everywhere)  The first ascent of El Capitan was done by a man named Warren Harding, and although he was significantly shorter and skinnier than the Warren Harding who held legendary bootleg parties in the White House during the height of Prohibition, they both shared an important hobby: love of the sauce.

Warren Harding, or Batso Harlem Shake Emoticon , was a good ol’ California boy, born in gold country of parents who had migrated to California during the dust bowl, a kind of James Dean of the north, with greaser hair and hot rod cars, and a hammer arm that would have easily have pounded John Henry into the dust.  Harding never went on a climb without sufficient supplies of jug wine.  Red, naturally, because we’re not savages here.  He spent 18 months hammering pitons into El Capitan to make the first ascent, with his ever changing retinue of climbers who would either break their legs, or chicken out, or move on with regular life.  Not Harding.  He had already learned that he wasn’t particularly skilled at many things, but mountain climbing was his forte, or as he put it “I could only do what required brute stupidity”.   The years before he began his total conquest of Yosemite valley found him bouncing between jobs, and even being rejected by the draft board.  Cause: weak heart.  So, he pulled together “whatever qualified climbers I could con into this rather unpromising venture” and continued to plough upward with sheer force of will.  To surmount the mountain Batso hammered for 15 hours straight through the night, up a 300 foot overhang, after weathering a 4 day winter storm in their little campsite that was hanging off the side of the mountain, with his B.A.T. inventions like Bat micro-shuriken pitons and Bat antigravity hammocks and stuff.  (Basically Absurd Technology)  (I am not making this up)  (No really).   At 6 a.m. on 12 of November, 1958, El Capitan was conquered. 

The National Park Service was not amused.  Here is a copy of a letter detailing the frantic attempt to stop Harding from doing cool things in the future via congressional action.  static1.squarespace.com/static…    More Great Pics and rest of letter here: www.yosemiteclimbing.org/new-p…  

This didn’t phase Harding in the slightest.  He continued to climb, unconquerable.  On his famous first ascent of the Dawn Wall the next year after being on the wall for 22 days, he was caught in a particularly bad storm and the Park Service tried to rescue him.  As Harding recounts: Ropes were lowered and a hallo came filtering down through the sleet.  “Good Evening!” says Harding to the Park Ranger, “What can we do for you?” “We’ve come to rescue you!”  “Really?” says Harding “Come now, get a hold of yourselves.  Have some wine.”

The necks of Hardings wine bottles are still on the ledge of his camp ‘Wino Tower’ on the Dawn Wall.  As he summited the Dawn Wall five days later, one of the reporters who were waiting at the top asked him: “Mr. Harding, why on God’s green earth do you climb mountains?” “Because we’re insane,” Harding answered.  Harding died in 2002 at a ripe old age.   Not of cirrhosis of the liver. 

Xander envies him.  And his jug wine.

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:iconchaineddolls:
ChainedDolls Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2017  New Deviant Professional Artisan Crafter
This is breathtaking
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:icondai-riin:
Dai-Riin Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god don't want to be cringy, but this is somehow depressive to me lol, reminds me a lot when i was younger, i always felt like I'm so behind and left in the dark while everybody is just in front of me, happy and shining and I'm just not fast enough to reach them. 

It's a lovely piece by the way <3:)
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Digital Artist
Aw, don't be depressed!  Think of when they all come back and you can jump out from the dark and scare them.  BOO!
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:iconfinsterdrache:
Finsterdrache Featured By Owner May 8, 2017
there is some kind of mystic on this picture. I like it.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner May 15, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconwhizzy-the-elephant:
Whizzy-The-Elephant Featured By Owner May 1, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh wow these are AMAZING!
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:iconjustmeeeeeeee:
justmeeeeeeee Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2017
aaaaaaah! beautiful colours and everything!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner May 3, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:icondabblebird:
Dabblebird Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconztoriko:
ZToriko Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ug this looks absolutely stunning!  Nick Wilde - Icon 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconarsnic-ainjel:
Arsnic-Ainjel Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your flavor text. Not only do you provide beautiful scenery; but historical tidbits. Very nice. 
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:iconmichausmichaus:
michausmichaus Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so awesome! :D
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconsenpaimarshmallow:
SenpaiMarshmallow Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
AMAZING! AMAZING! OH MY GERALD! AMAZING!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconstoriesbydaveywilson:
StoriesbyDaveyWIlson Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2017  Professional Writer
3D Llama Badge 
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:iconcarlos-salva-art:
carlos-salva-art Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Raven: *GASP!* Awesome   Quote13-01 by carlos-salva-art   Quote10-01 by carlos-salva-art   Quote11-01 by carlos-salva-art   Fav fella (Badge)
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:iconpotente789:
potente789 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
THAT IS SO OVERWHELMING GORGEOUS THAT I CAN ALMOST SEE GOD!!!!!!

YOU ARE VERY TALENTED - PLEASE SHARE MORE!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for your comments and support!
I try to release a new comic and picture each Wednesday about noon.
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:iconjulia-evs:
Julia-EVS Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful!!!..:heart::heart::heart:
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconriversreverie:
RiversReverie Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Very dramatic.  I like how you included the story behind El Capitan as well.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the nice comment!
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:iconriversreverie:
RiversReverie Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! :) (Smile) 
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:iconshisakkaku:
ShiSakkaku Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
That's Amazing!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconshisakkaku:
ShiSakkaku Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
No Problem!
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:iconastoko:
AStoKo Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing Clap 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconcrimsonsunset218:
CrimsonSunset218 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2017
Woah.... first impression is that El capitan is LOOMING over us!  No wonder they called it the captain!!!  Jeeze!!!
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:icondarkwolfnekoro:
Darkwolfnekoro Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Such a gorgeous work :heart: The colours are fantastic! 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:icontokmealait:
tokmealait Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2017
Nice!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
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:iconbirdfeathers21:
birdfeathers21 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The details and lighting are very beautiful! 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconbirdfeathers21:
birdfeathers21 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're very welcome!! I love your artwork! :)
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:icondiegoutetsuma:
Diegoutetsuma Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Nice job, I love the colors, greetings!!!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:icondiegoutetsuma:
Diegoutetsuma Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
you are welcome!!
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the storybook quality here, in particular the mood the scene invokes. Puts my mind to things like The Princess Bride or that Annie Lennox song Into the West. :clap:
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!  I love that Lennox song, like ocean waves or breathing just this lovely rolling sound...
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
:thumbsup: I can not agree more. In terms of evoking the elemental origins of music, it's probably one of the more perfect songs hovering in the air these days.
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:iconboodlemoo:
boodlemoo Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2017
Fantastic work.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconxxbeowulfhuntress37x:
xXBeowulfHuntress37X Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ohmygosh I love the details you put in your work! I never really was good at landscaping... You inspire me to do better! :3
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconxxbeowulfhuntress37x:
xXBeowulfHuntress37X Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! Thank you for giving me inspiration!
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