Yvonne Chouinard, Lewiston native and founder of Patagonia, coined the phrase “conquerors of the useless” in reference to the personally rewarding feats that he and his compatriots tried to tackle during outdoor adventures decades ago. Those feats included climbing El Capitan, a 3,000 foot monolith and one of Yosemite’s most sought after big wall rock climbing ascents. Chouinard probably never imagined that a pair of climbers would ever ascend El Cap’s Dawn Wall, which was thought to be unclimbable.
The story is nothing but inspiring, a declaration of the abilities of humankind and a testament to the importance of photography, even adventure photography, in documenting history.
It also got me thinking a lot about Maine and how blessed we are as a state to have recreational opportunities so immediately available to us. In honor of Caldwell, Jorgeson and the photographers that captured their journey is a collection of adventure images from our own BDN photographers.