The Huber brothers have free-climbed the Zodiac route on El Capitan, according to reports on several European web sites. Alex and Thomas Huber first attempted the 16-pitch Zodiac free in early summer, adding a four-pitch variation to the start. But they said they would need cooler temperatures to free-climb the Nipple, a long undercling and thin flake estimated at 5.14a. In the process of working on the route, the Hubers set a record for the fastest ever El Cap ascent: 2 hours, 32 minutes. Then, last week, the brothers completed their free ascent, topping out after three days on October 9.
Anyone remember the days when people speculated whether any El Cap route would go free? There are now 10 free climbs or major variations on the Captain (not counting the West Face or East Buttress), and one or both Huber brothers have free-climbed six of them!