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New Man On The Moon (And His Name Is Dean)

You can't see him at first.

He's off at the lower left, waiting for filmmaker Bryan Smith to say go. Then Dean Potter starts to climb, moving with no pack, no ropes, nothing, up the side of Cathedral Peak in Yosemite until he reaches the highline that will take him straight to the moon. He steps out, arms stretched, no pole; you can watch the line sag a little as it takes his weight, and he's off ...

Bryan Smith, with cameraman Michael Schaefer, shot this video using a super telephoto lens. The folks at This Is Colossal, who posted this, say Schaefer was standing over a mile away to get this elegantly compressed shot of moon and man.

The man, one of the country's speediest, most daring and dangerously tall (6 foot 5) free climbers, seems to be walking across the sky until his forward foot touches the moon's edge, and then, when he steps across, he seems, for just a little while, to be of it, if not quite on it. He doesn't stay long. The moon won't keep him. It keeps moving, and when he steps off into the dark, it's as though he's lost in space.


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Robert Krulwich works on radio, podcasts, video, the blogosphere. He has been called "the most inventive network reporter in television" by TV Guide.

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