The climb went smoothly until she attempted a difficult pitch in the sun around noon on Wednesday. Her fingers were so slick with sweat that she slipped off, she said, so she rested for 30 minutes and tried again. She slipped off again, this time smacking her head against the wall as she swung on the rope. Suddenly, she said, there was “blood everywhere, spewing out from my head.”She flashed back to a brutal fall she suffered last year while attempting the same climb, one that sent her to a hospital. But after checking her vital signs and bandaging her head, she put her hands on the rock once more.- Advertisement – “There was part of me that wanted to give up and the other part of me was like, ‘You owe it to yourself to try again,’” she said. “Then I just had one of those attempts where it was an out-of-body experience, like, ‘I can’t believe I’m still holding on, I can’t believe I’m still holding on,’ and then I was finished with the pitch.”Ms. Harrington, who grew up in Colorado, has been climbing since she was 10. She is a five-time sport climbing U.S. national champion and a two-time North American champion. She scaled Mount Everest and Mont Blanc in 2012, and Ama Dablam in 2013.Free-climbing El Capitan, she said, requires strength, stamina, technical skill and the fitness to endure a day of exertion.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – It’s unclear how many people in total have free-climbed El Capitan in under 24 hours, but the American Alpine Club, a climbing organization, estimates that only 15 to 25 climbers have pulled it off. The first to do so was Lynn Hill, whose scaling of El Cap in 1994, following the Nose route, remains one of the most famous ascents in rock climbing.Free-climbing El Cap is still very much “a male-dominated thing, despite the fact that Lynn was the first to do it,” Ms. Harrington said. “I always received so much advice from men, people telling me how I should do things, how I’m doing it wrong, but in the end I just decided to do it anyway despite the fact that a lot of people felt that maybe I couldn’t or maybe I didn’t belong there.”
An estimated 60,000 guests are expected to attend, according to USC News release. Approximately 15,000 degrees will be conferred during the ceremonies, which will take place at both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. In addition to having worked at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, Bass holds a graduate degree in social work from the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. “Bass has been recognized as a coalition builder in times of economic distress and divisiveness,” Austin wrote. “She is a leader for our time and a standard bearer of USC’s ideals.” Bass founded the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles, an organization dedicated to influencing public policy to aid communities struggling with crime, addiction and poverty. Bass has served as a member of Congress since 2011. “Bass was sworn in to chair the Congressional Black Caucus in January and joined the U.S. Congress in 2011,” the news release read. “A lifelong Angeleno and daughter of a U.S. postal worker, Bass served as an emergency room Physician Assistant at LAC+USC Medical Center early in her career.” Bass follows Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, who spoke last year, and actor and alumnus Will Ferrell, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, who served as speakers in previous years. Congresswoman and Black Congressional Caucus Chair Karen Bass will deliver this year’s commencement address, USC announced Thursday. Countdown to commencement | The University announced Thursday that Congresswoman and Black Congressional Caucus Chair Karen Bass will speak at USC’s 136th annual commencement ceremony in May. (Photo from Twitter/ Karen Bass) Bass, the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, was elected to represent L.A. in the State Assembly in 2005 and became the first ever African American woman elected to the state legislative body. She currently serves as the representative for California’s 37th district, which includes USC’s main campus. In Congress, Bass has served on the Foreign Affairs Committee and Judiciary Committee. “As a prominent member of the Trojan Family, Congressmember Bass sets an outstanding example of leadership and public service for our graduating class,” Interim President Wanda Austin wrote in a statement to the Daily Trojan. The 136th annual commencement ceremonies will take place on May 10.