A very long time ago I was working on my "project" at Cal State University Northridge. Looking through the stereo viewer at aerial photographs I was shocked to see a rock spire standing tall and proud almost next to the road. The very next day I was headed to Sequoia National Park with two of my friends, Erik Eriksson and Nick Badyrka. They were very skeptical about finding the promised "unclimbed spire" especially when I turned on to a small logging road, in the dark, and drove down to the end of the road. In the morning I pointed into the forest and announced, "The spire is up that hill." After a bit of wandering around, we came to a saddle and right in front of us was a huge rock spire. We could not believe our good luck. After inspecting around the base of the spire and finding no evidence of anyone ever being there, we were prepared for a first ascent.
Erik pointed to some cracks and said, "Those will go." Erik charged up the cracks that are now known as "The Beckey Route." We were now sitting at the start of a chimney that looked pretty unprotectable, and the boys said, "Guy this is your lead, you got us up here." I fiddled around and got in some nuts that gave me the confidence to go for it and the wide chimney went surprisingly easy. The rope came up short of the summit and I belayed the rest of the party up to me. Nick led the last 50 feet or so to the summit and settled in. When we were all on top, we started to look around and that was when Erik found a small can. Damn, we weren’t the first to get here! Inside the can were the names of seven other climbers. All of them were from a religious summer camp located just a few miles away. So we didn't get the first ascent but it sure felt like it to us. I still go back and climb that spire and every time I do, I remember that day with my friends many years ago.