Two Huge Days in Eldorado
“Not knowing which end of the bridge to start the timer on, we split the difference and started it from the middle,” Griebel said. From then, it was flat out: “We took off running, me with the rope pre-flaked on my back and my climbing shoes on, Jason in flip-flops with the rack flip-flopping around everywhere.” The two soloed to the start of the first pitch of the Edge, about 250 feet off the ground, and Wells had begun leading just eight minutes after they left the bridge.
One day later, Hans Florine and Bill Wright, co-authors of the how-to book Speed Climb!, set out to realize a long-time goal of Wright’s: climbing 100 Eldo pitches in a day.
The two started at 4:15 a.m. on Wind Tower and knocked out 25 pitches of easy climbing in two hours. Then they moved onto the longer and harder routes of Redgarden Wall, working their way to the west through classics like Anthill Direct, T2, Yellow Spur, and Rewritten. They had fixed four ropes to speed the descents, and in all they did about 30 rappels plus down-climbs to link the routes. They finished with the Bastille Crack, returning to the car just before 8 p.m., after a total of about 10,000 vertical feet of climbing.
Most of the climbing was 5.8 or under, and Wright led 97 of the 100 pitches, with the considerably stronger Florine (who was less likely to fall) coming behind as they were simul-climbing. “Doing this with Hans is cheating to be sure, but I cheat with all my partners, as they are way stronger and better than I am,” Wright said.
It was a record number of pitches for Florine as well. He had previously climbed 78 pitches in a day, but on a considerably bigger cliff: when he linked the Nose, Lurking Fear, and the West Face of El Capitan, the first time El Cap had been climbed three times in a day.
Dates of Ascents: May 16 and 17, 2012
Sources: Stefan Griebel, Bill Wright
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