After Years of Effort, the “World’s Toughest Climb” Accomplished
adidas Outdoor today announced its athlete Kevin Jorgeson, along with Tommy Caldwell, are the first to successfully free climb El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park, January 14. It took Jorgeson and Caldwell 19 days to summit, something they have attempted together for the past six years. The Dawn Wall is a 3,000-foot tall, half-mile long, granite face with razor sharp holds and continuous difficult climbing. Its route consists of 32 pitches, with individual pitches being rated the most difficult in the world to climb (14d).
Fotostrecke: Tommy Caldwell und Kevin Jorgeson in der Dawn Wall
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“It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish something you have devoted your life to for years,” said Kevin Jorgeson. “Free climbing the Dawn Wall had been considered impossible. Tommy dreamed it could be done, and I could not be more honored to have been his partner on this journey. I hope it might inspire others who may not have been familiar with rock climbing to experience it for themselves, and I’m looking forward to mapping out my next objective.”
Jorgeson and Caldwell free climbed the Dawn Wall, meaning they used nothing but their hands and feet to move upward, relying only on their ropes to stop falls and pull equipment. When they were not climbing, they occupied portaledges, 4-foot-by-6-foot hanging cots with aluminum frames that can be anchored to the rock wall more than 1,000-feet off the valley floor.
Video: Kevin Jorgeson in der 15. SL der Dawn Wall
“Kevin and Tommy have truly created a breakthrough in the world of rock climbing, and we couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Greg Thomsen, managing director of adidas Outdoor US. “They have made history today in the sport and have accomplished a truly amazing feat, not only in establishing the hardest big wall rock climb in the world but also doing it with impressive style and grace. They have set a new standard for dreaming big and never giving up until those dreams come true.”
Santa Rose, Calif., native Jorgeson began climbing competitively at the age of 14. He started focusing solely on outdoor climbing in 2002 and quickly gained a reputation for establishing and accomplishing highly-complicated and dangerous routes. In 2009, Kevin co-founded Pro Climbers International (PCI), an agency and advocacy group aimed at developing and inspiring generations of climbers.