“It’s a lot of work…and it’s probably not for everybody”
So says Tommy Caldwell in a new video released this week that details his work with Kevin Jorgeson to free a new line on El Capitan’s southeast face. The line in question requires free climbing several new pitches in the 5.13 and 5.14 range which has led Caldwell to question the likelihood of success on such a project (emphasis mine):
I fully realize that free climbing the Dawn Wall of El Capitan is improbable. Miles of blank steep granite—no true weaknesses to follow. To free climb the Dawn Wall will mean catapulting forward what is thought possible in the world of big wall free climbing. I’ve spent parts of two years either rope soloing up or rapping down from the top, swinging around, searching and trying the moves. I’m trying to force a paradigm shift with this route, and the prospect of linking together at least seven pitches of 5.14 to 5.14+ and another ten in the 5.13 range is daunting. Several times I have given up and moved on, worried I might waste too much of my life searching for something that does not exist or that is too hard for me. But I have invested so much, and am unable to resist El Cap’s magnetic pull. Now, after two and a half years, I think I have finally found the path, done all the moves. But the journey is far from over.
To give you a better idea of what it’s like working a new line up on El Cap here are two videos filmed for Black Diamond by Tim Kemple and Pete Vinitov with Mike Call on the edit. The clips feature behind the scenes information as well as shots of some of the hard free climbing Caldwell & Jorgeson are doing (including the crazy sideways dyno):
VIDEO Part 1: BD athletes Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson attempting to free El Cap’s hardest climb from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.
VIDEO Part 2: BD athletes Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson attempting to free El Cap’s hardest climb from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.
Caldwell and Jorgeson are back in Yosemite to continue their work throughout the spring in anticipation of the prime fall climbing season later this year. You can follow their efforts via Jorgeson’s blog or the Black Diamond Journal.
For more on the “Fun Scale” referenced in the video check out this post on Kelly Cordes’ blog.
Nothing better than watching Tommy and Kevin go at it to psyche you up for some climbing. Can you say visionnary?
I think I watched these 4 times each yesterday. Its just insane. And now I really want to do some free routes on big walls. I spent a good hour looking at Free Blast on Mountain Project and Super Topo because of these videos.
Too bad the dorky music covered up the talking. Real drag but great action.
nix that last comment. my son had another window open behind yours.
Wow! High, high quality all around. Intelligent, interesting commentary, check. Amazing, clean video and editing, check.
Narrative voice and purpose, check.
Well matched music that adds without overwhelming, check.
Humility without excessive posturing, check.
Wish these guys the best of luck with safety, success and perseverance.
Only posting this cause it’s relevant to Narc’s posting here, but everyone is pretty siked (how do u spell that?) about this line so I thought it would be okay to do. Thought it added some more coolness to an already cool post.
KJ posted an update on his blogspot about Mescalito. Has some pretty cool insight. A little lower there is a third video where TC and KJ do a version of ‘cribs’. It’s worth a chuckle.
There is also a pic that shows a few of the pitches.
Never a problem to share more info!