Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell Set Sub-2-Hour Nose Speed Record

Update: For a deep examination into the Nose speed record, check out In Depth: The Evolution of the Nose Speed Record.

El Capitan Yosemite The Nose National Park Rock climbing
Photo: russellstreet/Flickr; CC BY-SA 2.0

This morning—June 6, 2018—Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell broke the sub-2-hour mark on the Nose (VI 5.8 A2) of El Capitan, a stated goal they’d been pursuing this season as they claimed the previous two speed records on the route—one on May 30, the other on June 4. The duo began the route at approximately 6 a.m. and topped out shortly before 8 a.m. “1:58:07,” said Honnold from the top of the 3,000-foot route.

This is the second time the massive formation has been climbed in sub 2 hours. In October 2003, Alex and Thomas Huber, former Nose record holders, climbed the approximately 1,900-foot, 19-pitch Zodiac (VI 5.7 A3) in 1:51.

Honnold and Caldwell have been working hard on going sub two hours, and this is approximately their tenth time climbing the route in the past few weeks. On May 30, the pair beat the previous record set by Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds when they topped out the Nose in 2:10:51. On Monday June 4th, the pair shaved off another 9 minutes, topping out in 2:01:50.

Their ascent comes on the heels of the death of two climbers, Jason Wells and Tim Klein, who fell from the Freeblast section of the Salathé Wall (VI 5.9 A2) while speed climbing on Saturday June 2.

Honnold and Caldwell futzed about on the top of the formation before hiking down at 10 a.m. They were pleased with their effort. “Yay!” wrote Honnold in a text.