5/24/10 - Alex Honnold and Ueli Steck are training to attempt a new speed record on the Nose in Yosemite. On May 19 and 20, the pair scaled the Nose in 4:40 and 4:20, respectively. Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama currently hold the speed record for this world-famous route at 2:37, set on July 2, 2008.
Honnold is known for his bold free-soloing and speedy ascents of big walls. In summer 2009, he redpointed Salathé Wall on El Cap with Sean Leary in 8:30, cutting in half Tommy Caldwell's previous record of 16 hours. He has also free-soloed Yosemite's Regular Northwest Face in September 2008 and Zion's Moonlight Buttress in April 2008.
Swiss climber Steck is also well-known for his speed records on big walls. In January 2009, Steck climbed the north face of the Matterhorn via Schmid Route in 1:56, the line first established on this iconic Swiss mountain in 1938. In December 2008, Steck soloed the Colton-MacIntyre Route on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses in 2:21. And in February 2008, Steck smashed his own speed record for climbing the north face of the Eiger in 2:47.
Honnold and Steck haven't publicly set a date for their speed attempt yet, but according to Steck's blog, Honnold and Steck "complement one another and the team seems to function."
The above video shows Honnold and Steck negotiating the King Swing pendulum off Boot Flake (Honnold is leading). To avoid the King Swing, some parties go left by the Jardine Traverse and then up, as shown by the climbers on the far left.