Timmy O'Neill

Osprey Sponsored Athlete and Rock Climber
#happybirthday @yosemitenps 126 years today #johnmuir got the best gift ever. The perpetual preservation of this granite cathedral.••• Helio-appendages wrap #elcapitan in a sunset embrace as I arrive at the base of Half Dome's low-angle, slab masterpiece "Snake Dike." As I swapped approach shoes for rock shoes I felt the rawness of finger tips from days of granite clambering. Exhausted and exhilarated, I heard from high above the shout of "off belay" from a late arrival party and I started up wondering if I would catch them. My feet ached, legs and arms scratched by manzanita and scrub oak and it dawned on me that I needed to wear off the conventional calluses of life outside the Valley to truly feel this place. #foreveryosemite #yosemiteambassador
Is that water-streaked, exfoliating, glaciated batholithc feature, aka #halfdome really over 2,000 feet tall? #indeed The #beyondproud & #intoeternal northwest face towers to over 9,000ft above sea level and #fivethousandfeet alone about the valley floor. After a #speedlap on the #stecksalathe w @bradgobright I rode a bike borrowed from national park steward/advocate/luckylifer #chiefofstaff at @yosemitenps @mike.gauthier over to #mirrorweadow and ascended the #deathslabs then hooked a right up #bushidogulley to arrive at the legendary #snakedike the intrusive quartz crystalline 1,000 climb. @jowhitford describes it mythologically as like climbing on the spinal plates of a dragon - #wow At the top I ran into @harveyharvey and #shellyofmirth just as the last light was running far into the western sky. Much laughter, screaming into the wind and #hugfives for days ensued. #love #peace #understanding #yosemiteambassador @patagonia_climb @ospreypacks @petzl_official @clifbarcompany @lasportivana @nativeeyewear
Another one from Monday's First Blind Ascent (FBA) of #elcapitan w/ @erikweihenmayer @hansflorine and @charley.mace Charley has taken this tie-dyed peace flag worldwide from the summit of #everest to #aconcagua to #elcapitan What the world needs, and that's in reference to us #humans , is more #peace #love & #understanding (and BTW the hashtag #love has 932,493,897 hits) I joined @geoffreytabin via a 70meter 7.7mil dynamic ascent alongside the #hippie climbers, make sure you checkout the @jaymemoye @natgeoadventure article in my bio to find out what the #columbian climbers thought of Geoff's footwork. #blind #nobarriers #paradoxsports
One of these is climbers is 100% blind. All of these climbers are 100% stoked. @hansflorine Mr Nose, continues his lead over the final scramble atop the East Buttress route of El Capitan, 1,000 feet of vertical cracks, gaping chimneys and wildly featured faces. @erikweihenmayer Mr Scan Hands, follows behind applying his mastery of #Brailleclimbing: feeling for holds, imagining the sequence and committing to the movement. @charley.mace Mr Brighteye-Tiedye brings it all together, casting Erik off into a #seaofgranite then joining him on a second rope, describing the keys to help E unlock the cruxes. Erik is a person with no sight nor light yet he profoundly illuminates the way forward with a bold & beautiful #nobarriers vision. What's in your way? What's keeping you from even trying? Rethink Reset and Go. Check the link in my bio for the @natgeoadventure @jaymemoye story about the ascent. Thanks for joining us @geoffreytabin for a great day of #phriendship and #phunishment and #adaptiveclimbing @patagonia_climb @ospreypacks @nobarriersusa @paradoxsports
Stoke is high & #soarewe atop the #sentinel formation after a romp up the #stecksalathe described in the Myers/Reed guide as, "an odyssey up a natural passage." @bradgobright with the #eternalstoke mr. 3 ElCap routes in a day, reeled me in and out like a marlin sport fisherman, while I was on the sharp end, as we simul-climbed cracks chimneys and faces. No easy days within the vertical #yosemite playground. It exacts a toll of dehydrated, sun-torched, ripped and abraded, fear induced, rock-fall/self-fall adventure chaos - a perfect mix of #funishment #yosemitenationalpark #yosemiteambassador @patagonia_climb @ospreypacks @clifbarcompany @petzl_official @lasportivana @nativeeyewear
So much stone So many pitches Dirtbag for life Rags over riches #bandofbrothers #dirtbag @hansflorine @charley.mace @geoffreytabin @erikweihenmayer #yosemite #yosemiteambassador @patagonia_climb @ospreypacks @clifbarcompany @petzl_official @ospreypacks @nativeeyewear #whereisamanda @amandasalzman
The holds were just big enough to have me lean into them and slowly pull up and off the pier. Each move higher brought me closer to the top yet further from the water. A fall would have me soaked and #spongeriding in a personal rain cloud. #amsterdam #deepwatersolo #urbanclimbing 📷 @robthijs
#amsterdam A city of alt transportation. A city of more bikes than people. A city segmented in water ways. A city of bridges. A city of rails. A city of alt thought and action. #amsterdam #mycity #MrSterDam Early morning capture by 📷 @robthijs As the city slept I crept. As the city woke I provoked. As the city raged I smashed the cage. #urbanclimbing #urbanape #animatevsinanimate @patagonia_climb @elinevanstraalen @patagonia
#crackkiljs #dutchbuilering #getdownfromthere #cantfindmymonKeys @patagonia_climb #urbanape #concretejunglegym 📷 @robthijs #iamSterDam #haveyoumetSterDam
Yesterday morning I woke reluctantly in the predawn to meet with #dutch photographer @robthijs after a stellar evening presenting with @patagonia at their Amsterdam EU HQ. Rob and I rode bikes around the awakening city in search of climbable structures. After a #kneetoshoulder boost to overcome the dripping morning dew, I perched atop the "i" of #iamsterdam and as fellow travelers burned early morning #doobselfies we headed off to navigate this city of bikes. Thanks Amsterdam for such incredible museums #annefrank #vangogh #stedelijk - and for hosting my wild "i" #morebikesthanpeople 📷 @robthijs
Part III Every fall season I return to take part in the Yosemite Climbing Association’s Facelift event. It is a park-wide clean up that is as much a festival of ideas and action, as it is a volunteer conservation opportunity. Ken Yager conceived of the mission 12 years ago to spend a week collecting the trash that lines the roadside pulls outs and mars the oft used trails, as well as special project removals, including defunct asphalt and concrete. It is a massive volunteer activation between the park service, local residents, and the ever growing climber base, with people coming in from across the country to proudly engage in park stewardship. It is the embodiment of problem acknowledgement meeting solution application and creates a powerful and joyous harmony between the park administers and users, fostered by their joint effort to improve and protect our natural resource. It is the most effective and powerful volunteer event I attend each year. There is a popular grievance involving the crowding of our national parks, that our expanding devotion is detrimental, and we must act to control the pressure of vehicles and people. These are genuine concerns, especially considering population growth and development near park borders, and indeed Yosemite suffers from traffic jams and at peak times some of the most popular trails resemble mass transit urban walkways. Yet this popularity speaks to the power of these places to positively transform. And while It is a paradox to arrive in crushing hordes to bear witness to the most beautifully serene landscapes, the likelihood remains that we depart for home not only inspired and invigorated, but as importantly, better informed to cast our dollars and votes towards the ongoing preservation of these treasures. The magic of YNP inspires me to live my best life possible. And I know that to personally experience the park’s 360 degree physical and spiritual grandeur, I must strive to achieve not only the great heights of it’s spectacular summits but also to sit quietly in it’s meadows and let the wonder come to me. I am growing up and still “going up” and I realize that these walls aren’t going anywhere, only I am.
Part II (of my @patagonia Cleanest Line Blog post - link in my profile - In preparation of the 13th annual #facelift park wide cleanup.) •••It’s difficult to overstate the significance of the lessons I learned from a group of self-underemployed drifters, toiling in vertical obscurity, who chipped tooth and nail in quixotic clashes with gravity, which delivered a less-than-zero return on investment even when victorious. This global mishmash of climbers who annually ascend the vertiginous confines of John Muir’s temple walls blew my young “Philly kid” mind. I would never sever this profound connection, but simply encounter multiple month intervals between climbs, during which I would live somewhere else. Yosemite is a place of origins, an area so mystical and primordially ancient, that to visit it is to become temporarily long term, as if just by being there you experience a residual eternity. I thrive when engaged within the array of experiences that await a willing adventurer, be it dipping into frigid pools for a “clarity baptismal”, wending upwards on broken ledges to gain a unique vista, or for the truly initiated, when setting off into the vertical world of glaciated granite. The closer you get to the walls, like El Capitan, the bigger they loom, until the horizon overhangs you, as if you’ve simultaneously fell flat on your face and continued walking. And once you actually join the face and insert your hands and feet into the cracks and you become lost in a sea of stone. ••• 📷 @jeffjohnson_beyondandback #restday & #morningcoffee on the North American wall, #elcapitan w/ Dave Turner @sierra_dave_t Keith Malloy @thetorpedopeople take in the view and (dis)enjoy the vertigo. During the making of 180 South. #Yosemiteambassador
Part 1 (of my @patagonia Cleanest Line Blog post - link in my profile - In preparation of the 13th annual #facelift park wide cleanup.) •••The National Park system may not have saved my life but it definitely allowed me to truly discover and continually define it. Following an abysmal 13th grade at an entry level university and an equally lamentable year employed in one of the most dangerous professions I bolted west to manifest my destiny. After a summer walking amongst geysers and exploring the unbroken biota of our first national park I headed further towards the Pacific, stopping in at our second, Yosemite National Park (YNP) for seasonal work. Even though this was itinerant employment, it was more “case of Pasbt" than Grapes of Wrath, as it was a job in the recreation industry supporting vacationers from the US and abroad. After punching the clock and losing the nylon uniform I would hike amongst the towering Ponderosas and gargantuan boulders and climb at the base of the soaring granite walls. I dutifully saved my checks to purchase the equipment that would take me from hanging on the sidelines waiting for someone to fulfill my climbing jones, to actually hanging on multi-pitch routes in locations park wide. I began my transformation, one misstep and whipper at a time, towards lifelong dirtbag climber existence. And within the chrysalis of this deep wilderness and crucial risk assessment, I set in motion my intense appreciation for the Sierra Nevada mountains and my enduring love affair with Yosemite National park.••• @yosemitenps @patagonia_climb @yageryca 📷 @mikeylikesrocks #gunsight #cathedrals #yosemiteambassador
#poowithaview Even the bathroom window appears as a work of art in the #dolomites Staying with the #pompanins at #lagazuoi The Dolomites are @rockynps meets @yosemitenps equalling the expansive tableau of @grandcanyonnps #imhome #chosenfamily @patagonia_climb @ospreypacks @lasportivana @lucapompanin
i’m carried north on wings of steel my traveler's skin begins to peel molting from one place to the next about to leap out of the nest flying a part from the past the future now is in my grasp mountain peaks rise from this land to climb them is to understand to touch the top is only half as first fall tears and then you laugh and going up means coming down so dance across this hallowed ground *sung to the tune of your heart’s content #dolomitesorbust #mountainrefuge #travaltruism #yesiprocity #italy #dolomites
Screaming-smiles for miles atop a Tigrayan tower with adventure-polymath, deep thinking and super ballsy climber #nielstietze - the best big wall free climber who is happy you've never heard of him. #adventurephilanthropy is properly experienced on the sharp-end of life. As we sat in the Teddy driven van on our way from the mega-cataract intervention, curing preventable blindness in Mek'ele with @cureblindness to the Gheralta mountains I noticed the Ethiopians on the shoulder-less road walked perilously close to our oncoming vehicle. It seemed that the barrier of self preservation was narrower here, that the gap between life and death, if not actually less substantial, at least appeared to be so. As Niels led the second pitch on the tower, he was utilizing #singleuse holds that broke away under finger and foot just as he moved off of them. At one point well above a tipped out piece of gear in crystalline rock he struggled to insert his right side into a wide crack in a corner. The fact that he audibly uttered any sound, let alone the words "this is serious" had me do the quick calculus of his bad gear leading to my questionable anchor and the real possibility of our mutual destruction. Niels pulled through the crux, his skin slightly worse for wear and as I climbed the pitch with a tight rope above me I though back to the zooming cars and roadside bodies and our choice to emulate calm acceptance in light of grave danger. Like the symmetrical opposition of respiration, the "why" and "because" of the daring adventure is a Q&A posed to angles and demons. #betterlivingthroughangels #demonsareforever @acekvale @geoffreytabin @garrett__jwg @ospreypacks @patagonia_climb @lasportivana @clifbarcompany @petzl_official
In 2008 I first travelled to Ethiopia to open my #eyesandmind to the work of @cureblindness and Dr Geoff Tabin. We worked in a northern Tigray #millenniumvillage named Koraro, with an international staff from Nepal’s Kathmandu based Tilganga Institute and an outstanding domestic optho team from Mek'ele's Quiha Hospital, located several hours drive south. Fast forward #eightyears and I am back in the area, and it’s still 2008, on the Ethiopian (Coptic,) calendar, which has an eight year difference with the Gregorian calendar based on when the Angel Gabriel informed Mary she was immaculate. These are the flames of the #newyearsfire - which you jump over three times to ensure good luck in the coming year. The first stroke of luck is waiting for the flames to abate. Or take a bundle separately aside to perform the ritual as they do at the start of the video, (listen to Teddy's voice at the beginning.) #happynewyear #habeshaNewYear @geoffreytabin @acekvale
Finishing up a week of #soulwork with @cureblindness and @geoffreytabin and several other medical maestros from the US. A formerly bilaterally blind patient #953 and #954 smiles amidst the post-operative morning light. Although names and numbers may identify us, it is our connections and actions that define us. We accomplished almost 1,100 cataract surgeries over six surgical days, curing preventable blindness in patients with ages ranging from under 5 to over 90. In the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia there are 5 million people with 10 million eyes and only two eye doctors. So many are born below the cracks of medical care, that there exists no option to fall between them. This is my second #adventurephilanthropy journey in 2016 and another awaits in November. Connecting with the culture, language and mythology of the Tigray people through these liberating medical missions allows me deep and meaningful access to the edifying joy reservoirs of shared humanity. The scalpel, effectively the doctor's sword, combines symbiotically with the pen, in essence the voice of the needy, to remedy the ravages wrought by natural affliction and man-made war. #whyarewehere #torelievesuffering 📷 by @acekvale @ospreypacks @patagonia @garrett__jwg
Working with @cureblindness @geoffreytabin and @acekvale in Mek'ele #ethiopia at the Qwiha Zona Hospital. Today we completed 260 surgeries, and the goal is enormous - curing preventable blindness. What an honor to be engaged in such meaningful and important work. 📷 and words below by Ace Kavale - what a dude and friend. We have days more to go in an area of 5,000,000 people with 10,000,000 eyes with only one ophthalmologist. "Close your eyes and and try to imagine being blind. It happened slowly over several years. First your vision becomes cloudy, then darker, then total darkness. You become a burden on your family, unable to help with the daily chores of existence in a poor country. Then you heard about a miraculous thing. Foreign doctors were restoring sight to neighboring villages. Could this be true? Your family heard about it too. Someone came to your village and identified all those with eye problems. Then in the darkness you travelled hundreds of kilometers by bus. Arrived at a strange hospital with hundreds of people and sounds and noise. Herded from one spot to the next, waiting in lines for hours, even days. Then poked and prodded, led around in the dark by foreigners, bumping into everything. Frightened but excited you heard all the gossip, all the talk. Everyday people could see again. Finally, it's your turn. In a crowd of excited voices you're told to stand up. The bandages covering your eyes are roughly pulled off. It hurts at first. It's strange. Someone is pulling on your eyes, forcing them open but you resist. It's too bright. They are shining a bright light right in your eyes and talking in a strange language. But then yes, you can see, a little blurry at first but getting better, a dozen people looking at you and you can see them! You can see! For the first time in years you can see and right behind you a familiar face. The beautiful face of your daughter. You laugh, you cry, you sing. And just like that they are gone. Prodding and poking someone next to you. You look around and hundreds of people are there with their mothers, their fathers, sons and daughters. They can all see again. Just like you."
Water is the bearer of life. Next to breathing, drinking water is the most important thing I do. I love to immerse myself in water and spent my first nine months gestating inside it. I love to navigate in water and the earliest known footprints, 530 million years old, emerged from it. Next to climbing, kayaking is the most important outdoor activity I do. Whitewater is the bearer of adventure. Last July I had the good fortune to kayak with @matzenmeister Jobst, Michi and Lena from the @patagoniamunich on the Brandenberg river. It is a stunning gorge that cuts through forested slopes interspersed with improbably steep pasture land. 📷 Jobst Hahn