This morning, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell ascended El Capitan’s most famous route, the Nose, in 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 15 seconds. The pair broke the previous speed record of 2:19:44. Honnold, of course, once climbed El Capitan without ropes, while Caldwell was the first person to free climb El Cap’s daunting Dawn Wall route. They don’t even look that tired in the photo.
Brad Gobright, whose record Honnold and Caldwell broke, was watching from the floor of Yosemite Valley and told Rock and Ice that they “kinda messed up” some sections, which suggests that they could’ve gone even faster. The Nose is 2,900 feet tall, features 31 pitches, usually takes over four days to finish, and is rated as a 5.14a. Honnold told Deadspin two weeks ago that he was working on the speed record, and thinking of maybe even free climbing it soon. Even more impressively, Honnold seems to have done it with a nasty finger wound.
The first reports that Honnold and Caldwell had succeeded in touching the tree atop El Capitan that marks the end of an ascent came from Hans Florine, a climber who’s scaled El Capitan over 150 times. Florine has held the Nose speed record at various points over the past decade, and it was he and Honnold who had their record claimed by Gobright and his partner Jim Reynolds last year. Florine recently took a nasty fall on the Nose and broke both of his legs after a piece of gear failed and he fell 16 feet onto a ledge. It seems Gobright and Reynolds helped Honnold and Caldwell prepare for the climb.