you’ve just completed a four-day free ascent of the Nose.
That’s 5.14a, 31 pitches. Impressive? Now shake out for a couple
of days, and then go and free climb it again – this time in under
12 hours! Tommy Caldwell has just achieved this magnificent feat,
becoming only the second person ever – and the first man –
to free climb the route in less than a day.
Tommy led all the
way in the 12-hour spectacular, and only rested while his wife Beth
Rodden jugged and cleaned. The pair set off around midnight,
encountering just one other party which they passed at 3am. Weeks spent
working the route paid off, with Tommy taking only one fall – way
up there on the desperate 5.14a Changing Corners pitch.
days before, on their four-day free ascent, the husband-and-wife team
had alternated pitches, with Beth beating the Great Roof pitch (5.13c)
on her second try and Tommy the crux Changing Corners on his third go.
Prior to this climb, the couple had already attracted attention with
four other free ascents on the 2,900ft El Capitan.
who has famously held the Nose free-climb record since 1994, seems
delighted to share her lonely podium at last. “It is great to
hear that the Nose has had another free ascent”, she reported on
“Tommy and Beth had the right state of mind,
ability and desire to make it happen… They both love to climb,
have tons of experience climbing on all types of rock, and it makes me
happy to hear that they succeeded as a team! They are an inpiration as
climbers and as a supportive couple in their daily lives!” A sure
reminder that big-walling success is a team effort.
well-worn comment that she “could do the Great Roof because she
has small fingers”, Lynn Hill had this to say:
is missing the tip of his index finger on one hand and even though it
would have been easier with all of his finger tips, clearly he was able
to find a way to make it work. He proved my point that one’s
attitude and spirit is more important than one’s physical
make-up. The point of climbing is to adapt to the natural features of
the rock and Tommy and Beth found a way to do it rather than letting
physical limitations distract them.”
Now it’s been done again, will the Free Nose see another repeat next year?
Beth Rodden und Tommy Caldwell gelingt 2te freie Begehung der Nose
“Climbing Free” von Lynn Hill
Fototour: The Nose