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I thread the rope through the anchors, re-tie, and lower down the boot-shaped flake, cleaning gear along the way. “Stop!” I yell. I run as fast as I can left, leaping over positive features on the clean granite face. When I can’t run any further, I turn backwards and sprint in the opposite direction. I’m out of breath, but I reverse my moves one more time with an eye on the prize – small crimpers to pull myself into the flake and up onto a miniature ledge. I run, with leaps and bounds like a leopard going in for the kill, but instead for a passage to the top of El Capitan.

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