Caldwell-Rodden Free the Nose


El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California.Photo by Luke Laeser

Caldwell-Rodden Free the Nose

Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden have completed a free ascent of the Nose of El Capitan. The husband-and-wife team each led or followed every pitch free during four days of climbing, after working on the route during the past several weeks.

According to Kelly Cordes, a friend who spoke with the pair on Saturday, the day after they descended from El Cap, each climber led about half of the route’s 31 pitches. Rodden led the Great Roof successfully on her second try during the free push. Caldwell led the crux Changing Corners pitch above Camp VI on his third try. Caldwell said he felt the Great Roof was 5.13c and the Changing Corners was about 5.14a.

Lynn Hill made the first and second free ascents of the Nose, freeing the route over four days in 1993 and then returning the next year to make a one-day free ascent. In 1998, Scott Burke climbed the Nose free in a stormy 12-day ascent, leading every pitch but the Great Roof, which he free-climbed on toprope.Comment on this story