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Midnight Lightning’s Lightning Bolt Gets Chopped

James Lucas, writing about why he removed the iconic chalk lightning bolt outline from beneath Midnight Lightning in Yosemite:

Over thirty years, with every passing ascent, the lightning bolt became less of a testament to a remarkable ascent, of lightning striking at midnight.  The chalk transformed into a trademark, another tourist attraction for passing climbers. The magic left the bolt years ago.

The magic may have left the bolt for Lucas “years ago”, but myself and many others don’t appear to share that sentiment.  Each time I’ve visited the Valley and seen the Columbia boulder and its trademark lightning bolt there was a sense of history that came along with seeing it.  I agree that the chalk lightning bolt had become a trademark, but to me this was a good thing, not a bad thing.

The new bolt remains slightly duller than the last incarnation.
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  How long will it remain that way?
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 Does climbing need these trademarks?

My guess is that it won’t stay this way for long.

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