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Honnold/Caldwell free ElCap/Watkins˝Dome in day

11:07:48 AM
Latest news from SuperTopo Climbing News

Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold free-climbed Yosemite's three biggest walls, Watkins, Half Dome, and El Cap in 21 hours 15 minutes, bottom of first to top of last. 70 pitches!

~> Loved the comment by one wag suggesting they spent more time walking between the locations than they did climbing!

11:14:24 AM
Wasn't this a couple of weeks back now?

Tommy Caldwell: This one was along time coming. El Cap, Half Dome and Mount Watkins all free in under 24 hours. It was amazing to team up with such a solid and inspiring partner.
Like · · Share · 21 May via Mobile

11:26:07 AM
On 5/06/2012 ajfclark wrote:
>Wasn't this a couple of weeks back now?

Yeah, so it seems. I only got my Supertopo email today so whatever*, heh, heh, heh!
(*I am not the most internet savvy chap on the planet!)

I am stoked for climbing as this is a terrific achievement doing those routes all free, regardless of the age of the news. ;-)

Details from

5/21/12 - Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold have pulled off an extraordinary feet of endurance free-climbing in Yosemite Valley. The two climbed the south face of Mt. Watkins, Free Rider on El Capitan, and the Regular Northwest Face on Half Dome, all free, in a combined time of 21 hours 15 minutes, from the foot of Watkins to the summit of Half Dome.

Caldwell said the clock started at 4:45 p.m. on May 18 at the foot of Watkins. The 19-pitch route is mostly 5.10+ or easier, but also has two 5.13a pitches, including a very hard dyno, plus three 5.12 pitches. The two sped up the route in 2 hours 40 minutes with no falls.

Once on top, they hiked about an hour to reach the Tioga Pass Road, near Tuolumne Meadows, where Tommy's wife, Becca, met them with food. She drove them down into Yosemite Valley to the foot of El Cap.

The two started up Free Rider (5.12d/5.13a, 37 pitches) at about 10:45 p.m. and climbed through the night, finishing up just after 5 a.m. (ca. 6 hours 15 minutes). Caldwell said he fell twice at the crux face climbing section and slipped off a 5.11 pitch as well, before successfully freeing both pitches. Honnold didn't fall once during the three ascents.

After hiking down the East Ledges of El Cap, the two refueled again and then drove back to Mirror Lake Trailhead where they'd started the previous afternoon. They hiked up the Death Slabs approach to Half Dome, and began the Northwest Face route (5.12, 24 pitches) at 9 a.m. They were on top 5 hours later, at 2 p.m. on May 19.

In all, they free-climbed approximately 70 guidebook pitches in a little over 21 hours, simul-climbing substantial sections of the routes.

"It was great to team up with Alex," Caldwell said. "When I asked him how he felt this morning [the day after the ascents], he told me that he thinks he could go climbing."

The El Cap/Half Dome/Watkins sub-24-hour triple was first done in 2001 by Dean Potter and Timmy O'Neill, with some aid. The two started on Half Dome, then did Watkins, and finished up The Nose on El Cap.

The following year, Potter free-climbed the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome and Free Rider on El Capitan in a day, with two different partners.

Dates of Ascents: May 18-19, 2012

11:58:09 AM
They are absolute beasts. What an awesome feat of endurance and awesomeness!

This article brings back memories of my recent, unheralded, Hardrock CBD linkup. I did the green one, on to the pink one on the pillar and finished up the orange climb in the far corner;)

12:25:23 PM
A couple of pics follow from a link off the earlier site, ie found here ---v

This was towards the end of the day by Caldwell/Honnold and the caption on the photo is "Note the victory slack", for the simulclimbing taking place.

Interesting reading in that link about the great effort by the mere mortal chaps undertaking the ˝ Dome climb when they were overtaken. They got to the Thank God Ledge and the leader tried walking it while leading, but (semi-quote) 'sacked out about half way', and that team were then further blown away by the hard slab climbing of the next (last) pitch, which although bolt protected, had nothing positive to use in the way of holds, ... they were very impressed that it had been free-soloed in times previous.
1:41:52 PM
Absolutely, stunningly, incredible.

This is far more adventurous and far more impressive than another heavily rehearsed 5.14, 5.15 sport route.
One Day Hero
1:50:08 PM
On 5/06/2012 patto wrote:
>This is far more adventurous and far more impressive than another heavily
>rehearsed 5.14, 5.15 sport route.

I agree.......however, don't forget that these guys would have "heavily rehearsed" these routes too.
Fish Boy
2:17:54 PM
Yup ODH, I do believe however that tc nearly onsite freed Watkins when he was on it first....

2:25:32 PM
2:35:24 PM
On 5/06/2012 patto wrote:
>Absolutely, stunningly, incredible.
>This is far more adventurous and far more impressive than another heavily
>rehearsed 5.14, 5.15 sport route.

Way more impressive than 5.14, but 5.15 is pretty hard. Freerider and half dome in a day are not totally off the scale of reality. Throwing Mt Watkins in makes it madman. Honnold still has not climbed 5.15 prob because the training is boring. 5.15 climbers could say the same about training for mega valley link ups. Although, I know what I would consider more fun training for!

3:07:15 PM
On 5/06/2012 ajfclark wrote:

I know an organisation that needs a new editor for a monthly publication.
One Day Hero
3:18:20 PM
On 5/06/2012 Fish Boy wrote:
>I do believe however that tc nearly onsite freed Watkins when
>he was on it first....

Yeah, those guys are amazing. I wasn't trying to detract from how cool that day of climbing is, just pointing out to patto that the whole "heavily worked" thing isn't exclusive to hard sport routes.

But I do agree with patto that dudes climbing 70 pitches in a day provides way more inspiration than yet another 15m steep hard thing in Spain.
10:16:52 PM
On 5/06/2012 One Day Hero wrote:

>But I do agree with patto that dudes climbing 70 pitches in a day provides
>way more inspiration than yet another 15m steep hard thing in Spain.
Yes but getting Caldwell's wife to drive them between routes is lame - should have been on pushies between climbs so that it was all done under their own power ;)
Fish Boy
3:18:49 AM
Thanks editor Clark.

Alex is now off to solo them all now, belaying himself for some of it.

7:42:05 AM
18 hours later he's done!

1:21:33 PM
Short interview with Honnold:
1:50:43 PM
I like how he says free soloing high on El Cap at night is boring!

There are 17 messages in this topic.


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