Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Will Levandowski Operation Smile Climb/ World Record

Starting tonight and continuing on Thursday, Will Levandowski, a local climber, will attempt to transform a lowly stretch of Flagstaff sandstone into an arena of world-class proportions. Jenn Fields, a writer for the local paper, has a great article that explains everything.

I first encountered Will a couple of years ago when I was doing a warm-up session below Beer Barrel Rock and noticed someone climbing the same problem again and again on the formations known as the Mugs. I thought it was curious and asked what his reason for repeating the same thing literally hundreds of times. He explained that an injury in his foot from running limited his ability to either fall or negotiate a tricky descent so he found this one spot that allowed him to climb continuously for hours.

As an aficionado myself of logging vertical mileage at Flag, I can easily understand his motivations. However I freely admit that I would not want to try to log 25,000 feet on the same 10 foot problem. That takes a different mindset altogether. If you want to cheer Will on and even act as witness to his Guinness World Record attempt, you can find him starting at 5 pm tonight, a couple of tiers below Beer Barrel Rock. He will climb until 11 pm, take a break until 5 am and continue Thursday until 5 pm.

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