“When we arrived at the parking lot, the face was completely in the clouds. We didn’t really know how to get to the base,” recalls photographer Mikey Schaefer. Schaefer set out with climber Tommy Caldwell to tackle difficult routes in the Wendenstock area—pictured here is the Coelophysis route, rated 5.13c, in the Wendenstock crag. “The approaches in Wendenstock are pretty serious and fairly dangerous, so it took us some time to navigate to the start of the route safely. For a while, I didn’t think we’d even be able to go climbing,” says Schaefer.
Luckily the weather was manageable, and the climbers set out to climb Coelophysis. “Thankfully for me, Tommy doesn’t climb extremely fast. This gave me a lot of time to try different framing and angles. I had actually been struggling with the clouds most of the day, as they were so thick it was hard to see anything. I knew there was a chance I would get something really unique, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up too high. An hour or so after I got this shot, it started to rain and we were all forced to go down,” says Schaefer. “I was a bit lucky—I got some shots in.”
Schaefer photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and a 24-105mm, f/4 lens.