The Prophet

El Capitan, Yosemite, California
37⁰43’58.45”N 119⁰38’12.81”W
Leo Houlding, Jason Pickles
October 2010

The Prophet is a world-class route of the highest standard and represented the pinnacle of Leo’s rock-climbing career so far.

During the successful ascent, Leo and Jason endured one of the most severe October storms in living memory. Alone on the wall, trapped in a flooded port-a-ledge for more than 80 hours, the river in the valley rose 17 feet during the deluge, and they were pushed close to hypothermia. Just as they were about to admit defeat the storm passed, and with a herculean effort they summoned the strength to complete their new free route.

The 600m, 13-pitch route is characterised by continuously difficult and bold climbing of a serious nature. The most extreme difficulties are saved for high on the wall. The ‘Devil’s Dyno’ is a wild 2.5m long, no points of contact, sideways jump. Match stick edges, non-existent footholds and sheer determination pushed Leo right to his limit on the stunning A1 Beauty, by far the most difficult pitch.

Alastair Lee produced another multi award winning movie about the climb. “The Prophet” features on the DVD Psyche 2. The ascent was major news in the climbing world, featuring on front covers in the UK, US, Spain, Germany and Italy.

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