It took 19 days and included some of the hardest 3,000 feet of climbing in the world. All they had were their bare hands and climbing shoes to get up Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. It was a park first and a milestone for rock climbers.
For the first time in history, two climbers scaled Dawn Wall and continued to climb up to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park last week with only their hands and a special pair of stick-toe climbing shoes. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson have made the history books!
Dawn Wall isn’t for amateurs. It’s considered one of the hardest ascents in the world. The two started planning their route since 2009, after Tommy first envisaged it in 2007. The pair began climbing on December 27th and camped every night, suspended from the wall. They slept in hanging cots and food was sent up the wall when they needed it.
What does it mean to “free climb?”
Free climbing does require ropes, but they’re only there to catch you if you fall. They aren’t in any way used as a means to climb.
There are more than 100 routes up El Capitan, but only a few have been attempted by climbers trying to free climb.