Caldwell Frees (A) Crux Pitch On Dawn Wall Project

Caldwell Frees (A) Crux Pitch On Dawn Wall Project

A lot of people, myself included, declared the season over on the Dawn Wall project once Tommy Caldwell got hurt in a freak hauling accident.  Then, a funny thing happened:  life went on.  Jorgeson stayed on and continued to work the route, Caldwell healed up and now the duo are back up on the wall dodging ice and working on pitches.

Last night a big breakthrough took place as announced on the PCI Facebook page1:

The pitch 15 referenced in the post is likely pitch 14 in the below topo of the route from a few years ago. Roughly half way up El Cap, this pitch and the ones around it are some of, if not the most, difficult climbing ever done on a big wall like this.

  1.  Presumably by Jorgeson himself

Posted In: Traditional Climbing
Climbers: ,


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  1. jay

    I'm sorry, this is probably old news but I'm a bit feeble minded and ill-informed . . . just what are they trying to do here, when they put it all together according to the parameters they set? Free all the pitches in one push meaning "free climb without falling on the pitch," or? Do this for every pitch in a row (no falls top to bottom) or do it in one push but lowering to start of each pitch in the event of a fall and only progressing when pitch is done w/no fall, or? Is the idea to string redpoints of each pitch in a row, in a reasonable time frame? How does swapping leads factor in, if at all? And are there time constraints?


  2. ClimbingNarc

    This seems to have been the plan in prior years and is better style than doing them out of order on different pushes. Seems like their goal also is to have each climber free every pitch. When they made a push a couple of years ago they were prepared for it to take more than a week so the time constraint is not in play as much as doing it in one push from the ground, however long that takes.

    Of course I'm not actually the one climbing the route so this is all just informed conjecture.

  3. jay

    Thx for the clarification Narc

  4. ClimbingNarc

    More clarification from people actually involved in the climb:

    When asked if he would be satisfied with calling the Dawn Wall a complete free climb if he were to have only redpointed individual pitches over the past six years, but not in a push, Tommy said, “We accept that those rules are fluid and we’ll have to see how we feel once it happens. That said all of the most powerful experiences I’ve had on El Cap have been free-climbing a route ground-up in a push. It’s hard for me to imagine this whole experience being complete without that.”

  5. ColinMost

    5.14+ at that angle blows my mind. Well done.

  6. Treeguy

    I have a feeling this route goes next season.

  7. rnevius

    With the weather in Yosemite this winter, I'm surprised they aren't there right now.

  8. ClimbingNarc

    No kidding!

  9. Treeguy

    I think dodging falling ice is only cool for so long...

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