Climbers Archives: Tommy Caldwell

The Dawn Wall Interviews

Cool, interactive piece from Climbing on the Dawn Wall featuring interviews with both Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell.  I particularly liked this quote from Tommy about why he is so relentlessly positive even in the face of a seemingly insurmountable challenge like the Dawn Wall:

It helps to have almost died a few times in your life! [Laughs.] That brings things into perspective! I think the hard things I’ve gone through have made me want to embrace every day to its absolute fullest.
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Those experiences have helped make me who I am today. But part of that is also being a part of a great community and having my own great role model in my dad.
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I mean, my dad is absurdly optimistic, and that’s contagious.
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The Dawn Wall Push: Day 19

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The Dawn Wall Push: Days 15-17

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Fear Of Falling

One story that re-emerged during the big Dawn Wall push was this incredible story from 2000 when a young Tommy Caldwell, along with Beth Rodden, John Dickey and Jason Smith, was abducted by rebels in Kyrgyzstan:

“What the hell was that?” he shouts, donning his helmet instinctively, assuming the rifle crack is the clatter of rockfall.

“We’re being shot at, Singer!” Beth Rodden calls out in alarm from the other portaledge.

“That’s irrational,” Smith replies.
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“It’s probably local hunters.”

Then the third bullet hits right between the two platforms. Rock chips fly out of the crater, spraying the climbers.

“That was definitely for us!” Rodden shouts.

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Tommy Caldwell Climbing Pitch 15 | The Dawn Wall

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“It’s Really A Lifestyle”

T0mmy Caldwell, being interviewed by the New York Time minutes after topping out the Dawn Wall:

I would love for this to open people’s minds to what an amazing sport this is. I think the larger audience’s conception is that we’re thrill seekers, out there for an adrenaline rush.
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We really aren’t at all. It’s about spending our lives in these beautiful places and forming these incredible bonds with friends and family. It’s really a lifestyle. It’s superhealthy, and the climbing world is some of the most psyched, great people around.
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And if that love can spread, that’s really a great thing.

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Watch Dawn Wall Finish Live

Watch the final moments of the Dawn Wall free climb live

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