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In an email sent the day after the Hubers’ climb, Florine set the record straight: “Both [of our times] are correct. Yuji and I stopped recording our time when both of us had finished to the final chain anchors. We knew that Dean [Potter] and Timmy [O’Neil, the previous record holders] timed to the tree [on top], so we continued on and that only added 25 seconds. Being on the back end, I arrived at the chains at 2:48:30 and Yuji at that time was already at the tree. It took me another 25 seconds to make the tree.”
Since the Hubers also timed their finish at the tree, Florine said, “I believe the Hubers have the record! Cool. I guess I have to get off the couch!
In any case, the Bavarian brothers have said they will return to the Nose soon to attempt an even speedier ascent. During their 2:48:35 climb, they lost valuable time when Thomas dropped an aider, according to photographer Tom Evans, who was watching from below with his high-powered lens. Evans reported a nearly move-by-move account of the Hubers’ climb in his daily El Cap Report at Supertopo.com.
The Huber brothers, who have established five El Cap free routes, have been striving to break the Nose speed record for three years. In the spring of 2006, while making a film of their attempts, they neared the three-hour mark before Thomas was injured in a fall. The two brothers also hold the record for speed-climbing El Cap’s Zodiac route, which is half the length of the Nose but requires much more aid climbing: 1 hour 51 minutes.
Date of Ascent: October 4, 2007