Monday, July 7, 2008


When I a kid and climbing every day, I would sit at night and gaze at George Meyer's book Yosemite Climber, with its incredible photographs and stories of climbing in Yosemite National Park. Long out of print, my copy sits in our living room bookcase with other valued mountaineering and adventure books I have collected and taken special care of over the years.

One highlight in the book is the great granite wall, El Capitan, which has always captivated the imaginations and the skills of climbers around the world.

This photo, of Westbay, Bridwell, and Long after their one day speed ascent of El Capitan in 1975, really shows the culture of climbing at that time.

Speed climbing El Cap has been an ongoing thing since then, and the other day, two guys made it up the 3.000+ foot wall in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds. Damn.

Here's the route:

and more on the ascent from the SF Gate.


Two hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds is the new record for speed climbing El Capitan's 2,900-foot Nose route (at about 17.7 feet per minute) by a duo.

-- That's a minute faster than the average length of a major-league baseball game in 1986 (but those have generally gotten longer since then).

-- It's the same length as the epic 2004 Brad Pitt-Orlando Bloom film "Troy."

-- And it's two minutes shorter than the time it took for the Titanic to sink below the surface after its iceberg collision on April 14, 1912.

Here they are after the climb.

For more on El Cap speed climbing, go here.