El Cap'.... El Capitan Mountain, aka El Cajon ("kuh-hone") Mountain, 3600+ feeet, in San Diego County, California. This view is from the "prow", best described as a peninsula-shaped face at one of the steepest parts of the mountain. It may not come close to many mountains, but its easy access to thousands of climbers in the nearby San Diego County cities has turned it into a mecca for climbers, from novice to those practicing for an assault on Mount Everest, or hundreds of other peaks. Its bare granite cliffs are full of cracks, overhangs, and other challenges that make it overwhelmingly popular.
Though I've descended the steep slopes without benefit of rope or other climbing gear in the 1960's, it wasn't by choice; my buddy and I were motivated by thirst. Even though we climbed El Cap' many times, unexpected hot weather called for more water than we could carry. Back then, very few people ever ventured up El Cap' -- where many mining prospects came to bust.