photo by Tom Evans
Sean O'Neill Leaving the base of the Zodiac and cranking pull ups like a man possessed with the ability to do what ever he puts his biceps to.
Preface: Timmy's brother, Sean O'Neill, was paralyzed from the waist down 15 years ago, when he jumped from a Misissippi River bridge. Since then, he has committed his life to some of the most outrageous athletic accomplishments ever achieved by anyone, paraplegic or not. In September 2006, Sean made an epic ascent of Hawaii's Mauna Kea, which you can read about here. He and Timmy completed an ascent of the route "Space" on El Capitan in Yosemite, which you can see photos of here. Climbing without the use of his legs, Sean basically does several thousand pull-ups to grind his way up a route.
The McNeely-O'Neill Partnership Delivers Another Gnarly Ascent
of the World's Best-Known Big Walls
Timmy and Sean O'Neill teamed up with Ammon "The El Cap Pirate" McNeely to climb The Zodiac, a 16-pitch route that ascends the south-east face of El Capitan located in Yosemite National Park.
They awoke at dawn, roused from their slumber by Calvin's V-8 van rumbling into camp at Lower Pines. After quaffing multiple cups of scalding coffee and scarfing a plethora of Cheese and Apple Horns and a 12 pack of donuts they fell back to sleep.
NO, wait...they headed to El Cap meadow and convened with a band of Valley denizens gathered for the pupose of transporting Sean, a T-12 paraplegic, to the base. Bean Bowers, Gabe McNeely, Cedar Wright, Sean Leary and Calvin and Cause hoisted Sean O to the start of the wall within an hour.
The trio left the ground at 12:18pm on Monday October 16th, and 26.5 hours later (and after almost 1,700 pull ups for Sean) they topped out.
They were met on top by the beaming faces of Dee Thomas, John Dickey, Lori, Lance and the original carrying team to celebrate and assist in getting Sean down the East Ledges descent.
It was an epic ascent that brought the whole team closer together and inspired them to realize their goals with the knowledge that life is short and meant to be lived NOW.
photo by Tom Evans
Sean and Timmy O'Neill climbing
up to Peanut Ledge.