Nachfolgend ein Bericht von www.camp4.com, der von Bill Wright geschrieben wurde: Yesterday morning the Grand Old Man of Speed Climbing set the record straight on whether he´s ready to turn over the title of „World´s Fastest Climber.“ After the usually rack/sling negotiations, Hans Florine and Jim Herson blasted up the Nose of El Cap in 3h57m, breaking the very recent record of 3h59m set by the powerhouse duo of Dean Potter and Tim O´Neill. The Nose is the most sought after big wall climb in the world. It is 34-pitches long and is usually climbed over 3-5 days…Hans was honestly thrilled that Potter and O´Neill had broken his long-standing record on the Nose (set with Peter Croft in 1992). Hans gets jazzed about competition. He doesn´t merely want to be the best in a small pond; he wants to be the best in the biggest ocean in the world. He uses competition to lift himself and everyone around him to new heights. He is the most glaring example of „positive competition“ I´ve ever seen.Jim Herson works 40+ hours per week and has a family. He is the ultimate weekend climber and also one of the best granite trad climbers in the world. He is the only person to have led the crux 19th pitch of the Salathe Wall (also on El Capitan) completely free, despite misleading reports you might have read in the rags.Jim has only climbed with Hans twice. The first time they sped up Half Dome in just over two hours with Jim leading the entire route with one approach shoe and one climbing shoe. The second time Jim wore both climbing shoes and they blasted the route in under two hours – the standing record on Half Dome. Jim also owns the speed record on the Salathe, mainly because he is the only climber in the world that can speed climb the Salathe without using aiders.So, on their third climb ever together, and with Jim not that familiar with the Nose, they set the record. They even had numerous places where they lost time. Hans feels this record is still soft and they might try again to „clean it up a bit.“They took 21 minutes to reach Sickle Ledge – four pitches up the Nose at 5.10+, 5.11, 5.10c, and 5.11+. It is not uncommon for teams to take a full day to reach this ledge. On my first foray on the Nose it took me two days. They passed a „Nose-in-a-day“ team en route. A NIAD team is a team of super fast, elite climbers. This team was 11 pitches up the route when Hans and Jim left the ground and 45 minutes later they passed the NIAD team after they had climbed two pitches – a fast rate of 22 minutes/pitch. Hans and Jim were climbing at around 6 minutes per pitch for both climbers. This is 3000 vertical feet of continuous 5.10/11 climbing.They arrived at the top of Texas Flake in just a little over an hour. At Camp VI, they had 35 minutes left to break the record. This is still normally six pitches from the top and teams frequently take a day to do this. They took 33 minutes.As payback for the fast ride up the Nose, Hans had to belay Jim on the Salathe so they walked over to the top and rappelled down five pitches to work the 5.13 Salathe headwall and the climbed back to the top. All this in a casual day. I don´t know if it has occurred to these guys yet, but the Salathe record is ripe for the pickings for this team. In fact, any big wall with mostly free climbing could be a target for these superhumans. I´d expect more activity before winter sets in…Hans Florine selbst schreibt dazu: Thursday and Friday I made some suggestions to Jim. Since Jim is newly engaged I suggested he go for a speed run up the Nose with me and be done with El Cap by noon and down to spend time with his fiancee´ and daughter… rather than spend a protracted effort on that route over to the left, begins with an „S“, can´t think of the name just now.Friday evening he rebuts that he´d go up the Nose with me, but only as an „approach“ to going to the top of the „S route“ and lowering into the headwall top pitchs. I agreed.Sunday morning we rendezvoused in El Cap meadow at 7:30 or was it 8:30 or maybe it was 6:30, the daylight savings time changeover made things screwy. alas after we both got there, it was looking OK for our rack and sling negotiations as Jim said that I could put it all together since I had the Nose route pretty dialed. Of course when it came down to it he had his two cents to add as I clipped pieces on and off the rack. No sooner than an hour and 18 minutes later we were agreed on the rack AND Slings, and were walking to the base.All was well, Jim had matching shoes, one left and one right, – lots of chalk, enough slings, and a blonde ready to belay. With a liesurely start of 10:33, or in „new time“ 9:33, we began the first pitch.Jim led me up to the end of sickle where I handed back the rack to him and he led to the top of Texas before he had to haul up the gear on the outside of Texas flake. We passed an Australian party, just after Dolt, going for The NIAD and Jim managed to kick both of them in the head as he went by. I knew one of them and both didn´t seem to hostile to me for the damage done by my partner.From the boot flake I took over the lead, – My first time ever with Jim! I was soon to learn that without Jim´s own jugs and etriers, he don´t like jugging, and will avoid it at all cost. I, not knowing this, had him using my „trick setup“ and things got called out on the fly – fix the line I´m batmaning it, just put in a belay and I´ll come up there- it´ll be faster, let´s simul climb(but Jim had no Gri gri, so he´d just tie in and wing it behind me. did I mention that Jim doesn´t really like belaying with a Gri gri, while simulclimbing behind someone.- I just found out myself that morning.), etc…..As I´m leading the Great Roof pitch I notice Jim has his shoe off. – hmm, I think, that´s pretty bold of him to think that I´ll take so long on this pitch that he can take his shoes off. I hear some cursing and yell down asking if he dropped his shoe? nope not that, he´s broken his shoelace!As I finish the Great roof lead he´s still got his shoe off! I yell down for him to tape it or wrap the lace around the outside, – You´re just jugging from here to the top!- you don´t need a perfect lace job, get going! I think he took the cord from his chalkbag belt and substituted it for his lace that broke. I roll my eyes of course once I find this out and just get on with the task of leading – as we are with in striking range of the record despite Jim´s 10 minute delay with the shoe snafu.As we arrive at camp six, 3 hours and 24 minutes have expired since the start. Jim seems to have things down the last few pitches and I can´t shake him. Every time I short fix he´s at the anchors before I can get 20 ft away from the belay. Then he´s wanting to simul – climb stuff and thanks to his proper lacing job, he´s tearing up the terrain below me. Now I really can´t shake the guy. Jim restocks my gear one last time on the pitch above Camp six and I pull out all the tricks and „umpha“ I have to string it to the top and not let Jim pass me by.When I reach the finish anchors it´s one more classic Jim beta where he wants to campus the bolt ladder, draws in hand, and have me belay him rather than jug the darn thing. I comply and the nut arrives at the top 3 hours, 57 minutes, and 27 seconds after we started at the base! I think my mouth hung open in astonishment for far too long. I even checked the timing math with Jim before fully grasping it.After sitting in smiles and eating our energy bars for 30 minutes it was time to head west! darn away from the descent! and of course lower down into the S route. Jim made the crux move at the bottom of the headwall look like 5.9 and fell once somewhere on the crack, maybe twice, I opted to make Long ledge my low point and led the 12a face pitch. Jim took us off the top from there and we sprinted down the east ledges, not donning our head lamps til the forrest by Manure Pile. Back to the car by 6:15. (new daylight savings time).And who says Sunday is best for rest?winter is coming get your last routes in before the storms….see ya in the gym.Hans
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