A couple of days ago Tommy Caldwell freed the last remaining aid pitch of his 7-year project up the longest and blankest section of Yosemite’s El Capitan, opening what is undoubtably the most sustained hard wall climb in the world. Today’s Psyche post will feature a stack of video from this adventure. Sorry about the lack of “normal” posts. I’ve had little interest in writing about myself or time to do much research. Hopefully this will keep you entertained for a while. At the very least it should make your job seem less hard. Less fun, perhaps, but definitely less hard.
With each pitch freed, the route now goes, but it still awaits a continuous ascent. Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson will give that a shot sometime in December. If they success their route will likely have far more hard climbing than any other single route in the world. It’s amazing to have listened to Caldwell talk about the route when he “found” it, when it seemed like a complete pipe dream, to see how it’s evolved into something real. These two vids are from when the project was still pretty fresh.
Here’s a good video profile of Caldwell on Planet Mountain, including an in depth look at his battle with this route and his history on El Cap. The hardest free routes are almost all his. A stack of those have many 5.14 pitches but this one is in another realm altogether.
Finally, Planet Mountain again, reporting the news from the other day, which includes this info from Jorgeson’s blog on the sheer volume of work they’ve done in the last month. Now aren’t you happy this isn’t your job?
Jorgeson shared some information which, to the joy of all those who love number crunching, shows how demanding this last month has been up on El Cap. Apart from starting late in the season and continuing on even later, it’s interesting to note that of the 120 hours spent climbing, 80 were done at night to make the most of better conditions…
Climbing Days: 20
Rest Days: 11
Total Hours Climbing: 120
Total Hours Night Climbing: 80
Feet to Crux Pitches: 1,100
Best Jumaring Time Base to Crux: 40 minutes
Best Rappelling Time Crux to Base: 10 minutes
Total Feet Jumared: 22,000
Hardest Pitch: 14 (first traverse)
Likely Grade of Pitch 14: 5.14d
Confidence Level for Pitch 14 Send: 8 out of 10
Highlight So Far: Team send of Pitch 7, 5.14a
Tommy’s Crux: The Dyno
My Crux: Pitch 12, 5.14b, The Molar Traverse
Split Tips: 0
Grated Knuckles: 3 (all mine…)
New Sequences Found: 7