Tags: yosemite | climbers | el capitan

Yosemite Climbers Complete Most Difficult Part of El Capitan Feat

Image: Yosemite Climbers Complete Most Difficult Part of El Capitan Feat
Climber Kevin Jorgeson (shirtless) climbs Pitch 17 as his partner Tommy Caldwell belays from below on the Dawn Wall of the El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park California in this January 12, 2015. (Tom Evans/Reuters/Landov)  

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 11:33 AM

The Yosemite climbers attempting the unprecedented feat of scaling El Capitan have passed the most difficult part of their journey.

Kevin Jorgeson, 30, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, began the climb two weeks ago after years of planning and, this past weekend, they surpassed the most critical milestone, CBS News reported. After 11 attempts, Jorgeson finally conquered Pitched 15, widely considered the hardest part of scaling El Capitan.

"Over the course of seven days, I made 11 tries and finally did it, and this is a view I will always remember, but I'm not sad to be moving past," Jorgeson told CBS News.

Caldwell had already made it past Pitch 15 last weekend and had been waiting for his partner to catch up with him at the section called Wino Tower so they could finish the climb together.

"It's taken them years of choreographing the moves, getting strong enough to do each of these moves and sort of getting them down to muscle memory," Outside Magazine senior editor Grayson Schaffer told CBS News.

The Los Angeles Times wrote that Jorgeson's and Caldwell's next big challenge is a free climb of Dawn Wall, a 3,000-foot section of El Capitan using only their hands and feet wedged into the granites cracks. The wall is as tall as two Empire State Buildings.

Caldwell told CBS News that he grew up climbing in Yosemite and got the idea eight years ago to free climb Dawn Wall. He ultimately teamed up with Jorgeson, who offered his expertise in bouldering, and the two have been training for the past five years.

Tim Fullkerson, who witnessed the men climb on Sunday, told the Los Angeles Times that watching the impossible feat resonated around the bad news going on in other parts of the world.

"You contrast it with the killings in Paris, with the darkness in the world," Fulkerson told the newspaper. "You look up and you see the possibility of doing something almost insurmountable with optimism, creativity, perseverance, friendship. You see two guys holding on with bleeding fingers."

CBS News reported that, if everything goes as planned, the men hope to complete the climb and reach the summit Wednesday night.

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The Yosemite climbers attempting the unprecedented feat of scaling El Capitan have passed the most difficult part of their journey.
yosemite, climbers, el capitan
364
2015-33-13
Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 11:33 AM
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