The Nose – Free in a Day

By David Schmidt ,

On October 17 Tommy Caldwell free climbed the Nose of El Capitan in less than 12 hours, taking only one fall on the 5.14a Changing Corners pitch. Beth Rodden-Caldwell belayed Tommy on his ascent; incredibly, Tommy and Beth freed the route together in four days, swapping pitches, only two days before Tommy’s successful ascent. The pair started Tommy’s free bid around midnight and encountered only one other party, whom they passed around 3 a.m. on the top of Dolt Tower.

Caldwell led every pitch of the route and rested while Beth jugged and cleaned. This is the second time that the Nose has been freed in a day, and is the first all-free-in-a-day ascent by a male (the previous one-day ascent was made by Lynn Hill in 1994). See the Hot Flashes report in Issue #245 of Climbing for photos and more information.Comment on this story

El Capitan after a storm, Yosemite National Park, California.Photo by Chris Van Leuven

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