Update Jan 14, 2014: Nineteen days after they set out to achieve one of climbing’s most difficult challenges, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the summit of the 3,000-foot rock known as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, marking the first free ascent of a notoriously difficult section called the Dawn Wall.
Caldwell and Jorgeson reached the summit just after 3:00 p.m. PST, where a contingent of 40 friends and family members, plus a group of reporters, stood ready to greet them, having arrived via an eight-mile hike around the backside of the mountain.
Jan 8, 2015: Two men are attempting to climb what has been called the hardest rock climb in the world – a free climb of a half-mile wall of rock in Yosemite National Park. The iconic granite rock formation towers 3,000 feet in the Yosemite Valley (pictured below).
Kevin Jorgeson of Santa Rosa, California, and Tommy Caldwell of Estes Park, Colorado are both in their 30s and and could be the first to “free climb” the section using ropes only as a safeguard against falls. As of Thursday, January 8, 2015, they were about half way on the ascent and could reach the top as early as the weekend. This is their third attempt since 2010.
The two men are coming off a couple of days of rest so that their hands can heal. The sensitivity in their fingers is needed to properly “feel” their hold on the rock.
Chronicling their climb is climber and photographer Tom Evans. Tommy and Kevin are also using their cell phones to take photos and video, and post to Facebook (Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson). They have good cell reception and use solar chargers for their phones.