I really can’t remember what I learned or what I was doing in 3rd grade. I was probably beginning to learn multiplication, starting to write more coherent sentences, leaning about fun animals in science, and playing capture the flag during recess. As for athletics, I was probably learning how to stop on skates (that’s right, for the first several years of my life, I was a hockey player in the winter, not a skier) and hit a baseball out of the air rather than off a t-ball tee. Unless you were uniquely athletic, you were probably doing pretty similar things.
Sam Adventure Baker (yes, Adventure is his real middle name), on the other hand, is looking to set a pretty impressive athletic record. He set out on Tuesday, October 24th, with his father, to become the youngest person to ever climb El Capitan at 8-years-old. If completed, he’ll be taking the title from Pearl Johnson, who climbed El Capitan at 9-years-old back in 2019.
Sam and his father Joe Baker, along with two other individuals, are expecting to climb the beast in four days, sleeping on the side of the face for three nights. The group then plans to descend the 8-mile trail to the bottom after a fourth night of camping on the top of El Capitan.
This attempt is nowhere near his first rodeo. When Sam was three, he climbed his first multi-pitch route at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. When he was four, he climbed the 2nd Flatiron in Boulder, Colorado. When he was 5, he completed a two-pitch 5.7 climb, again at the Garden of the Gods, and when he was 6, Sam became one of the youngest people ever to climb Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite.
According to his father, Sam has trained every day for 18 months leading up to his El Capitan attempt. While setting a record is certainly amazing, that isn’t the main motivation for Sam. Instead, according to CNN, Sam was mainly looking forward to climbing with his father. He also, apparently, was excited to eat lasagna, play chess, and watch a movie (The Lion King, which is, of course, the best choice), all while suspended on the wall.
The group is currently two days into the climb and still going strong. You can follow along with the climb on Sam’s Instagram, Sam Adventure. You should also check out their website, Sam Adventure, where they post where they post all about Sam’s past and present climbs.
Image Credit: Sam Adventure via Instagram