Hubers on the Nose

by Mick Ryan The Huberbuam The Huber brothers, Alex and Thomas, have climbed the Nose of El Capitan in 2 hours 45 minutes 45 seconds, breaking their own speed record set four days previously by over 3 minutes.On October 4th they managed 2 hours 48 minutes 35 seconds beating the 2002 record set by Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama by 20 seconds, although initially there was some confusion over Florine and Hirayama´s record time which had been reported at 2:48:30 and 2:48:55 which it transpired are both correct; the first time being the time it took Hirayama to get to the final tree and the second time being Florine´s time to the final tree. On this first attempt the Huber´s dropped an aider which slowed them down. On the Huberbuam´s second attempt on October 8th they took a back-up aider with them, which in any event they didn´t need. Tom Evans, the El Cap voyeur who sits in El Cap meadow with a high powered telescope reportsat and gives this first hand report of the final metres. “…..then it was up to Thomas to get the last jugging done and make it to the tree. His rope got tangled for a moment and that was killing precious seconds until he got it untangled and was able to forge ahead. Up he came, charging up the rope with all his strength and will. From the meadow came a great roar of encouragement with monkey calls and screams of “go Thomas, go, go,go.” I hit my air horn several times to goose him along that last stretch and soon he was at the tree and they were gone from view. It was over. Later they came to the rim and held up their arms, the signal that they had broken the record again, but by how much? That would have to wait until they got down. Around 1pm they arrived at the bridge to much cheering and excitement. They sat down and told their story. Their time? 2:45:45. So that was that. They had the record in a time that would leave no question of any kind unanswered.” The Nose was first climbed in 1958 by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore in 47 days using “siege” tactics: climbing in an expedition style using fixed ropes along the length of the route, linking established camps along the way. The first ascent of The Nose in one day was accomplished in 1975 by John Long, Jim Bridwell and Billy Westbay. In 1993 Lynn Hill free climbed the Nose. A year later she returned free climbing the Nose in a day.