More Updates From The Dawn Wall

More Updates From The Dawn Wall

Day 3 of Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell’s push up their proposed free line on El Capitan’s Dawn Wall is in the books.

When I last updated the team had just finished their first day which saw them finish the first 6 pitches.  Day 2 (Sunday) began with Jorgeson lowering down to get a clean send of Pitch 6 (5.13c) which he had slipped high on the day before.  With that cleaned up the duo began tackling Pitch 7, the route’s first 5.14 pitch.

In between trading burns with Caldwell on Pitch 7 Jorgeson sent me this audio update from the wall to let us know how things were going:

Fortunately the pitch went down next try for Jorgeson, and Caldwell was able to follow it clean shortly thereafter:

What a fight. Three goes for me and four for Tommy to send pitch 7. Eating dinner then on to the sharp crimps of pitch 8!
@kjorgeson
Kevin Jorgeson

They then completed Pitch 8 by headlamp before calling it a night.

Yesterday (Monday) was an “active” rest day for the team as they sat out the heat of the day before polishing off Pitch 9 (5.13c) late in the day.  This puts almost half the difficult pitches on the route behind them, however the upcoming pitches are the real meat of the route:

Pitch 9 is done. Now the real business begins: 5.14b ish, 5.13d ish, 5.14b ish, 5.14c ish, 5.14c ish
@kjorgeson
Kevin Jorgeson

I’ll continue to provide recaps as events warrant, but here are some other ways to follow what is happening up on the wall:

And Jorgeson tweeted the following from the wall yesterday afternoon so keep the positive comments coming!

Thanks for sharing your encouragement and psyche everyone. Keep it up. We appreciate it up here!
@kjorgeson
Kevin Jorgeson

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17 Responses to More Updates From The Dawn Wall

  1. mm November 16, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    So I wonder how this effort compares to the stuff going down in Spain with Sharma, Ondra et al and their 5.15s?

    I mean it sure seems like TC and KJ are CRUSHING some hard stuff in the valley and it’s at their max at “only” 14c?

    Probably Apples to Oranges but it sure would be fun to see more top top level guys trying the Trad and vice versa.

    I smell a cool video plotline… Mix in the idea of BigUps “Origins” where the new school goes and gets worked on “old school” routes and you’ve got a great vid IMO.

    When are we going to see more Origins anyway?

    Can’t wait for the Dawn Wall footage though. Make it long form BigUp with lots of attempts!

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    • Adam November 16, 2010 at 10:56 am #

      To me the two don’t seem comparable. The climbing styles are so different, yeah it’s apples and oranges. If it were overhanging like bellavista or something i bet they’d have done it already… it’s just the nature of the climbing. So many sections of microcrimps that depend on laser precision footwork etc. I know I’m more comfortable and successful on overhanging routes than slabs of a comparable grade.

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      • whiner November 16, 2010 at 11:10 am #

        What Adam said…not to mention TC has done FA of some of the hardest lines in the country like Flex Luthor and Kryptonite (both of which involve STEEP climbing) number of years ago, and KJ has climbed V14 and 14d. So yeah, that video you’re talking about? It’s in the making right now so get syked.

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    • Narc November 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

      Totally different style of rock not to mention the the fact that 5.14 trad is a lot different that 5.14 sport when it comes to gear and safety and all that stuff.

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      • Adam November 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

        Yeah 14c trad is way above 14c sport. Two different realms.

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  2. whiner November 16, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    I think one should keep in mind that even though this is “only” 14c, the nature of climbing is very different. This is technical granite climbing at its finest, and I’d imagine it will most likely feel much harder than 14c until you get used to that style if you’re constantly climbing on overhanging limestone in spain. but what do I know…props to these guys and wish em luck

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  3. el quixote November 16, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    El Capitan is one of the most beautiful natural features on the planet. It’s so massive, so gray, so proud in its elephantine formation–like a resurrecting king mammoth. Just staring at its rise above the meadow is like standing in front of the moon. It’s also the birth rock of big wall climbing. These guys are travelling on new lands up there. So inspiring. So, so inspiring. Thanks for the stoke!

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  4. Egghead November 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Thanks Narc, keep up the great work. This is WAY more inspiring to me personally than hard sport across the pond. To each their own, it’s all good.

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  5. dom November 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Does anyone know if they are they coming back down to the ground at all? On rest days?
    Also are they placing all gear on lead? What about when they fall, do they pinkpoint back up to their highpoint?

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    • Narc November 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

      I don’t believe they are planning on coming down to the ground at all.

      I don’t know all the particulars with respect to how the gear works since a lot of it is fixed gear, beaks and that sort of thing.

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    • Adam November 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

      It is my understanding they are not coming back to the ground for rest days. They’re in for the long haul ON the wall. THey’ve cached food etc for at least 2 weeks.

      The gear they’d be placing on lead, but if they fall yeah they’d be pinkpointing up to their highpoint.

      The interwebs will correct me if i am wrong.

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  6. inspirational November 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    So very inspirational! This to me is what it is all about. Years of training, high off the deck, doing the thing you love with a buddy, and finally setting your sites on the project.

    Best wishes and thought to TC and KJ on their adventure

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  7. DreamingGnar November 17, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    So crazy, so awesome, so psyched. It’s insane that these guys are throwing down some of the hardest trad pitches anywhere, at 1000+ft off the deck after climbing more of the hardest trad pitches anywhere.

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  8. asdf November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    You are all just confirming what mm said originally – he did state that it was comparing apples to oranges and did indeed make the grade distinction between trad and sport. Apart from that, this is an amazing effot – it’ll be a proud send!

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  9. Mike November 18, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Interesting that they are both trying to send clean, both the lead and the follow. Is that standard practice for big wall ascents?

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    • Luke November 19, 2010 at 10:47 am #

      This style is called “Team Free” which is arguably much harder than swapping leads and having the second jug.

      Some say that having a single leader for all the pitches is more proud but really this style requires higher combined skills.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Backcountry.com: The Goat » Blog Archive » Tommy Caldwell on the Dawn Wall - October 20, 2011

    [...] Caldwell filed a dispatch for The Cleanest Line about his and Kevin Jorgeson’s work on the Dawn Wall, the longest, blankest stretch of El Cap that the team is trying to free climb. They’ve been [...]

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