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Two Men Are Trying The Most Difficult Climb Ever. When I Saw Their Path, My Stomach Dropped


christyn.andrade

At Yosemite National Park in California, there's amazing rock climbing. One rock in particular, El Capitan, is known for being a particularly difficult climb. But Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell pulled off an incredible feat: not only did they scale El Capitan, but they did it only using their hands and feet.

El Capitan is much loved by rock climbers and BASE jumpers for its challenging face.


Tommy Caldwell

While ropes ensure the climbers' safety, they climbed to the top of this 3,000-foot granite formation without using the ropes or any other tools. 


Kevin Jorgeson

They used light sources on their foreheads to illuminate the way at night.


Kevin Jorgeson

Narrow crevices and fissures in the rock give them openings to use as hand and foot holds.


Kevin Jorgeson

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Ouch, ouch, ouch.


Kevin Jorgeson

But the climbers couldn't be stopped. They taped their abused fingers and kept at it.


Kevin Jorgeson

Ledges installed on the side of the mountain give a night's rest that's not for the faint of heart.


El Cap Report

Occasionally they found a resting spot to wedge themselves against the rock and take a breather.


El Cap Report

Although very necessary, establishing the pitch points for the ropes was a huge challenge.


Kevin Jorgeson

Night climbing was often preferable to escape the harsh rays of the California sun beaming down on them and glaring back from the face of the rock.


Tommy Caldwell

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Sometimes they had to set up their tent and take a rest to let their bodies heal.


Tommy Caldwell

If you have ever been rock climbing, you know the level of physical activity and muscle soreness that comes even after a few hours of climbing.


Tommy Caldwell

Kevin and Tommy take an early morning photo op. Here they are with all of their safety ropes and hanging tent. 


Tommy Caldwell

You need to make sure you don't have a fear of heights before taking on this climb.


Tommy Caldwell

The climb goes high enough that it's not uncommon to see the clouds drifting by.


Tommy Caldwell

Through the bloody knuckles, bruises, sore fingers and burning limbs, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made history by completing the first free ascent of El Capitan's infamously difficult Dawn Wall. 


Tommy Caldwell

Credit: Diply

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