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Jacob Cook: British Undercover Crusher Sending in America

British climber Jason Cook and his partner Bronwyn Hodgins have relocated to America for the time being to free some Yosemite and Zion classics.

The pair recently climbed Moonlight Buttress 5.12d in Zion National Park, but failed to free all of the pitches. They returned with a porta-ledge and both freed every pitch.

Jacob Cook on Moonlight Buttress.  Photo Cook's Facebook Page
Jacob Cook on Moonlight Buttress. Photo Cook’s Facebook Page

“The splitter finger cracks were a new style for both of us and required following a steep learning curve,” said Cook.

“We spent two days on the wall, with an awesome porta-ledge bivy above pitch seven.¬†An especially amazing achievement for Hodgins who’s been climbing for only two-and-a-half years.”

Cook and Hodgins then went to Yosemite where they climbed the Northwest Face of Half Dome. “It turned into a proper sufferfest,” said Cook.

“Our first mistake was only packing one sleeping bag to our bivy at the base, shivering ensued. When our alarm went off before dawn I hadn’t slept a wink.

“We then got stuck behind some aid climbers high on the route who seemed to be grinding to a halt, we topped out after dark. Great fun all the same and things can only improve from here.”

They then rigged Freerider on El Cap, but bad weather brought a forecast of snow and rain. They returned to Zion where Cook onsighted Spaceshot 5.13-.

“The route was quite a different proposition to Moonlight Buttress, much less travelled, more sandy and more adventurous,” said Cook. “All capped off by a desperate Font-style dirty topout. Escaping the bad weather in Yosemite payed off after all.”

Bronwyn Hodgins seconding Spaceshot 5.13.  Photo Jacob Cook
Bronwyn Hodgins seconding Spaceshot 5.13. Photo Jacob Cook

With stable weather having returned to Yosemite, it’s go time for big wallers who want to bag their project before the summer heat sets in.

Follow the El Cap Report, which is updated daily by Tom Evans who we interviewed in the spring post-Dawn Wall. Read the full interview here.

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