We’re proud to be a climbing company made up of…climbers! Ben Steel, a coach and desk staffer at Berkeley Ironworks, recently made headlines with his climbing partner Luke Stefurak in Yosemite.
By Andrew Hewitt. Originally published in Rock and Ice.
Tick off another 2013 FFA on one of Yosemite’s last free-climbed faces: Liberty Cap.
Last month, Luke Stefurak and Ben Steel completed a long-time project when they made the first free ascent of Scarface (5.12) on the southwest face of Liberty Cap, according to Stefurak’s blog Dream In Vertical. The route was originally climbed in 2010 by Josh Mucci and Steve Bosque and given the aid grading of 5.8 A3 before Stefurak and Steel freed it last month.
The free version of Scarface ascends approximately 1,500 feet over twelve pitches before topping out on Liberty Cap. Though most of the route features solid 5.10 and low 5.11 climbing, two 5.12 cruxes at pitches five and eight require thin fingerlocks and laybacking with little to no footholds. On the day of the first ascent, Ben Steel redpointed the first crux, a feat Stefurak had accomplished back in March, while Stefurak finally managed to stick the crux of the eighth pitch. They swapped leads throughout the rest of the lower graded pitches.
Read the full article.