/ NEWS: VIDEO: Alex Honnold and Ueli Steck - The Nose - El Cap
The pair, both world class climbers, will attempt to beat the previous record set by Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine. The record time, an astonishing 2:37, was set back in 2008.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=53649
2.37hrs..... just blows the find when you see pictures of the thing and read about advice about allowing x number of days.
Bizarre (but great) video. The team on the left are flying too!
"Surely their talents/time could be put to better use"
Ueli - the fastest steeplejack in the west?
Put to better use? As much as I love climbing, I would struggle to argue it has much use. Or do you mean they'd be better of looking for a cure for cancer?
Anyone else slightly confused by that video?
I can't even work out which people are climbing together, never mind what they are attempting to do. I understand they have to pendulum across, but why all the up & down climbing?...
stay at home and climb your little 20m high crags then, less people in yoesemity the better. Your just being ignorent of somthing you have never done. Get some aiders and have a go, then you will see the point.
I take it you can clib every bit of rock you ever come up against?
Do you know anything about the climbing on El Cap?
What's the point with any style of climbing?
What an amazing vid
There doing the king swing which starts on the top of boot flake (the big bit of rock that looks like a boot duh!) you lower down from it and then run back and forwwards to get a crack miles off to the left. Basically you have to go up to fix the top achor then come down to do the swing. Have a look at the topo for the nose and you will get what there doing.
4:40 is pretty slow though, they will have to do alot of work. Call me sceptical but i dont think there gonna break it anytime soon.
> Anyone else slightly confused by that video?
> I can't even work out which people are climbing together, never mind what they are attempting to do. I understand they have to pendulum across, but why all the up & down climbing?...
> Explanation anyone?...
Slightly confused? I could make virtually no sense of it. Presumably they're practising the pendule at different heights.
...less people in yoesemity the better. Your just being ignorent....
A top class demonstration of ignorance there Tom.
Why climb that blank, unprotected slab when there is an easy gully ten yards to the left?
In fact, why climb it at all when there is a perfectly good path running up the side of the crag (I'm sure we've all heard that one before!)
I guess it all boils down to why you climb. If it is just to be outside in beautiful places then that is fine but I think most of us want to push our limits, even if its just a little bit.
Higher or harder are the normal aspirations...so what's WRONG with faster?
In most sports that IS the point, isn't it?
I think LSN probably does know what he's talking about Tom. Anyway don't you have an auto spell checker on your web browser? If not get firefox. There is something faintly silly about people calling others ignorant in a post full of typos/spelling errors, that's all.
Have you visited Yosemite? I haven't but would love to do the Nose as well sometime, but from friends who have been there I don't think it being quiet seems very likely - at least not in season anyway.
I did it in July and we were the only team on it (once we'd been overtaken by Florine/Schneider on pitch 2).
Brill video of the King Swing. The route is basically 29 free pitches and 5 pitches which are v hard to free i.e. 5.12 and above.
Agree that they are miles off the pace - all good publicity though - beats doing what Caldwell does and spending months on end trying to free new stuff ;-)
There seem to be three teams in view. Team 1 is climbing the crack system on the left which leads up from the end of the Jardine Traverse - not visible in the main part of the video, but possibly in the area above and left of the climber in the opening few seconds which are shot a bit lower down. Team 2 are in the process of doing the pendulum off Boot Flake, but don't seem to make much progress; they may be pausing on purpose to give Steck and Honnold their best chance of passing them quickly, though it looks as if the leader (the one at the bottom) may have gone too low without clipping the second pendulum point (double pendulum). Team 3 are Steck and Honnold. At the start of the main section of video the leader appears to be on the bolt ladder leading up to Boot Flake while the second jumars up and then stops - presumably atop Texas Flake, though it's hard to tell - while the leader continues to the top of Boot. The leader then does the double pendulum into the lefthand crack system (that Team 1 are also climbing) staying noticibly higher/further left than the Team 2 leader; there's also a bit of simul-activity here as the Team 3 second follows the bolt ladder/Boot Flake, possibly swinging straight into the pendulum without actually going to the top of Boot. At the end Teams 1 and 3, slightly indistinguishable, are disappearing top left, while Team 2 are still mid-pendulum.
What actually are you goin on about? Am i ignorant for saying the less people in yoesemity the better? Why? I havent been but it comes up on every US forum and every yoesemity book. Or am i ignorant for standing up for aid clibing against the usall "its cheating/whats the point". Funny how some british ethics are dying out but others such as slagging off aiders are alive and kicking.
Excellent. Thanks Ian. That's what I was after. I understood what they were attempting to do but maybe the fact that Team 2 are not really going anywhere was confusing me.
Now I'll go and read something else while this argument continues!...
If they simul-climb the whole thing, their time will near halve.
> If they simul-climb the whole thing, their time will near halve.
Er I don't think they're pitching it!
Because they are sponsored climbers, sponsorship depends on attracting media attention and Mr Steck is primarily known for speed climbing. So it makes sense to me although I can't say it is my cup of tea.
Just watched it again and spotted a couple of things I got wrong. It looks like Team 3 leader either back-cleaned the 5.10c crack up the right side of Boot, or didn't place anything - the jumaring second doesn't appear to remove anything, and is hanging some way left of the crack for the whole height of the flake; he does, however, go to the top of Boot, which is presumably the short-fixing anchor for this section. The leader possibly doesn't use the second pendulum point - hard to tell as there's a bit missing - but he seems momentarily to swing right back across Boot before getting to the ledge bottom left (Eagle Ledge?); and afterwards the rope seems to hang in a single loop from him back to the Boot anchor, though this could possibly be achieved by using a hook at the second pendulum point rather than clipping it, then flicking it off afterwards.
What actually are you goin on about?
Your inability to write a clear and correct sentence.
...less people in yoesemity the better. Your just being ignorent....
...fewer people in Yosemite the better. You're just being ignorant...
When you accuse others of ignorance it is a good idea to check your argument for gaffs.
I wouldn't have even known where to look to unearth that one - I must get out more! :-)
So your insulting me based on my spelling and grammar and it has nothing to do with the contents of what I wrote? That’s pretty pathetic really (and genrally the sign of someone loosing an argument).
As I have said in a post relating to spelling, sorry I can’t spot mistakes in what I write. I re-read everything twice so I have cut a lot of errors out but my brain doesn’t see anymore. Sorry if you can’t read what I’m saying.
The portaledge arrived last week.... not long now.... : )
> So your insulting me based on my spelling and grammar and it has nothing to do with the contents of what I wrote?
You didn't write anything of substance Tom. The situation in Yosemite is very complex. First off it is just not climbing tourists that the place is special too, it's a globally important site for general tourism, hiking, native culture and its ecology. The Park Services have a very fine balancing act to maintain. It's not beyond the bounds of imagination that one day no vehicles will be allowed in the Valley apart from buses, as in Zion, and that climbing will be by permit only.
As far as Steck and Honnold's speed attempts.
Good luck to them, it will be great if they can surpass the achievements of Florine, Hiryama, Potter, Hubers, Croft et al stretching all the way back to 1975 and Billy Westbay, Jim Bridwell, and John Long's first Nose in a day.
Mick do you think, if they were to break this 2 hour record it would surpass all those achievements on the route before?
Did you need to wade into this Mick? The guy asked "whats the point of aiding" and i said "good the less people in yoesemity the better". I have tryed to keep up with the access problems but obviously am no expert. But with any climbing area, anywhere in the whole world; the less people the better (for me anyway).
> The guy asked "whats the point of aiding"
No, I asked "So they're aiding climbing it? What's the point?" I was referring to these climbers on this route in particular, not aid climbing in general.
> Mick do you think, if they were to break this 2 hour record it would surpass all those achievements on the route before?
They are all amazing, and as they saying goes, all step on each others shoulders, but as regards pure time, yes that's obvious.
But it's more than just time, it's about the skill level, the climbing fitness, the partnership, the motivation.
Are there any climbers out there who wouldn't be pleased as punch to able to climb the Nose in a fast time, I know I would.
Good luck to them I say.
Is it just me or is that video speeded up?
They all look a bit like Buster Keating type characters the way the climbers are moving :-)
I really like it, gives a sense of perspective and just how much climbing there is. Be good to see the whole thing.
Im not picking trouble mick, i just dont and have never got this fixation on speed ascents. And to compare there ascents to early ground breaking ascents doesnt sit with me.
Of course most would like to climb the nose in a good and quick style, showing good skill, fitness etc.
I would also like to climb say a Gogarth main cliff E6 (because this would feel like el cap to me) in good and quick style with displaying all the attributes of a fine ascent etc.
And i bet if i went back 3 or 4 times i do it quicker and better and then i could hold the record. But it would all be a bit pointless.
I could fully understand a camp4 local with bob all to do in the evening, having a crack. But these boys are doing this shizzel for a living and spending it trying to rush up a route they can basically piss up anyway i just find a bit perplexing.
That's the power of climbing though. Some like this, some get turned on by that, some don't see any value in say dry tooling but would happily spend 6 hours doing a sit-down start to a 5ft boulder.
Some like climbing very tall rocks, very quickly.
Steck has said that what he really wants to do is transfer his speed in the Alps and soon Yosemite, to the greater ranges, the Himalaya..... we might see some very impressive link ups then!
Yeh of course, it sure is each to there own.
"Steck has said that what he really wants to do is transfer his speed in the Alps and soon Yosemite, to the greater ranges, the Himalaya..... we might see some very impressive link ups then!" ... well thats more like it, he should stop faffing about on the nose then and get on with it :-)
Or even gaffes.
Thank you, much appreciated. I would add a smiley, but I don't use that sort of thing.
Well, that's the crappest video I've seen for a while.
> And to compare there ascents to early ground breaking ascents doesnt sit with me.
Agree entirely. Steck and Honnold are of course free to do whatever they want, but speed ascents smack of gimmicks for fast food headlines to keep the punters (consumers) gawping and the sponsors happy. Only when I hear that Steck has spent two weeks rather than two hours on a route will I be properly impressed.
When the definitive history of mountaineering is written, all these speed ascents and enchainements will be mere footnotes (Christophe Profit, anyone?). Steck will only join Bonatti et al in the Pantheon of climbing Gods when he puts his undoubtedly huge talent to work to climb a groundbreaking line of the utmost difficulty in the greater ranges. I hope he does.
"Steck will only join Bonatti et al in the Pantheon of climbing Gods when he puts his undoubtedly huge talent to work to climb a groundbreaking line of the utmost difficulty in the greater ranges. I hope he does."
To be fair to the man, I think he already has. Didn't he climb several difficult new routes on peaks in the 6-7000m elevation range in Nepal in the last couple of years? And I seem to remember that he was avalanched off the South Face of Annapurna 1 whilst trying to solo a new route. That's not a wall for slouches...
Personally, I agree, I'd rather see guys with this kind of talent doing something with a bit more originality... but hey, this might just be a bit of time off for them... they could have done this under the radar and then we'd be none the wiser. If this is how they feel like spending a couple of weeks of their time before they get back to the more interesting stuff, then it'll certainly brighten my day to read about it.
(sitting at home with a stress fracture, so eager for any climbing news at all to read)
I agree. Climbers like Steck and Honnold are multi-talented and seem to enjoy a bit of everything, and do it well. I see two climbers pushing the limits, in this case speed on a big wall, probably also doing it for the sheer love of climbing - with a dash of healthy ego. I don't think it's a stunt or overtly done for publicity (see the Hubers for that and their Suunto promotion whilst doing speed on the Nose, we got bombarded with press releases).
I think that all those we attempt the Nose fast are drawing on the experiences of those who went before them and will recognise that... Honnold being from California can draw a line back to Long, Robbins, Harding, John Mendenhall, John Salathe and from Salathe back to European climbers... Steck's climbing ancestors Bonatti, Desmaison, Piussi etc
Check out Ueli Steck talking about the future beyond speed in the Alps/Yosemite in the Petzl Scottish Ice video on the home page: http://www.ukclimbing.com/
And also see him do Andy Turner's The Secret in about 30 mins and placing only a handful of pieces for protection.
Possibly the most boring climbing video I have ever witnessed.
gaff /gaf/n. Brit. slang. "blow the gaff": let out a plot or secret [19th c.,= nonsense]
gaffe /gaf/n. a blunder; an indiscrete act or remark [French]
I think you may have been right (unless you meant a barbed fishing stick). I wish we could ban direct comments on grammar and spelling and have to rely on sarcasm or similar.
Interesting to see they did a mini king swing, not sure that was a known option in 2008? Still a different approach to the huber brothers who looked to basically tensions traverse left at a very high level...
Exactly my thoughts - Lemmings! I wounder if you can add an extra crack system for them to climb, or blank a bit of wall to block them and watch them go round another way :)
so you think distance running is a waste of time too?or any sport that is timed?hmm bit shallow.
(Ueli is running out the free climbing section of the boot flake after the initial aid to get established on it so that Alex can quickly jug up the front face of the boot - Much quicker)
> so you think distance running is a waste of time too? Or any sport that is timed?
The only way to make distance running hard is by running a long way and/or running fast.
You make climbing hard by making it.....well....hard!
The comparison is pointless.
Ok, but the point I was making is that, if you want a challenge running, the obvious natural thing is to do it faster, but the natural challenge in climbing is to do something harder. Of course you can do something easier and climb faster,but if I can do, say, an alpine route in a single day, then I must be finding the climbing generally pretty easy (not to say it might not be enjoyable, but that's not the point of this argument) and I really ought to be on something harder if I want to push myself.
If you want to do or be impressed by speed ascents then that is absolutely fine, but personally, the longer and slower, the more impressive as far as I am concerned.
I haven't said I want to do or be impressed by speed ascents I was just pointing out the over simplification of how to make running more difficult.
As far as I am concerned no matter whether you are doing something faster, harder or longer you are still pushing limits. Attempting the worlds fastest ascent of the nose is a challenge and one these two have deemed it worthy of attempting. People have said that this may be down to pressure from sponsors etc but many people on here seem to want to pressure them into using their talents in another way to impress them-it seems almost hypocritical.
It doesn't bother me how they choose to use their talents, it is none of my business, I am just perfectly happy to sit back and read stories or watch videos of them pushing boundaries in whatever way they choose. Climbing is a very personal thing, people climb for all sorts of reasons, and if these two like to challenge themselves to climb something as quickly as possible, as opposed to as hard as possible, there should be no problem with that. You said it isn't the point of the argument whether they enjoy it or not but I think it is, why should they climb something as hard as they can just to appease the masses when that might not be what they want to do.
> You said it isn't the point of the argument whether they enjoy it or not but I think it is.
Of course it isn't the point! The debate is about what is impressive (admittedly subjective) and significant as a climbing achievement. I hope they are enjoying themselves whatever they do and of course they should feel under no pressure to impress anybody.
If the debate is whether them being successful in this attempt would be a impressive/significant climbing achievement then it is a pretty ridiculous debate. What they aim to achieve is something very very few would be capable of therefore regardless of how highly each person values speed in climbing it is a very impressive achievement. Is it significant?- They seem to think it is worth the effort and others before them have as well so it does have significance.
I recently went to a very entertaining presentation by Steck where he made it pretty clear that these speed ascents are effectively training for cutting edge ascents in the greater ranges. As such I don't think he is putting as much stock in these ascents as some are assuming.
He was very funny. He claimed to have got into speed ascents in order to pacify his wife-to-be, who was irritated that he never seemed to be home in time for dinner. Running up the Eiger NF was his idea of a compromise...
Is the Honnold/Steck combo a new one in the Nose speed challenge? I don't recall reading about a previous attempt by this pair (but Ive knocked my head a few times and I may have lost that day).
My 0.02$ is that its an awesome thing to be able to climb the nose in 2:37:05 and its great fun to watch (read about / see thanks to tom) and it make my hands sweat to think about doing some of those pitches that fast. It took us three hours to get to sickle ledge and we spent more time at camp 6 waiting for a slow team.
good luck but don't take it too seriously and have fun because Hans will just redouble his efforts to remain on top and I doubt any new record will hold for long (unless its a big time knock off - unlikely)
The climbing is clearly not hard for climbers of their calibre. If I was to do 1000m of climbing in 2.5 hrs, I would have to find it pretty easy
(V. Diff, say). Given a few days, I might make it up 1000m of E3 or E4. To me there is no question which would bw a bigger deal.
"I take it you've never stood at the foot of the Nose."
Actually, I have.
Time will tell. I very much hope that in, say, 50 years time, it will be looked back on as just a bit of fun - a circus sideshow. Call me old fashioned, but I would hate to see this sort of thing seen as part of the mainstream development of climbing - even if not an out and out gimmick, it does look to me like an over-practised stunt.
> I recently went to a very entertaining presentation by Steck where he made it pretty clear that these speed ascents are effectively training for cutting edge ascents in the greater ranges.
I didn't expect to be let off that lightly when trying to be provocative and controversial........
Speed climbing is part of the history and culture of climbing in Yosemite. The valley has long been the place where new styles, equipment and approaches to climbing have been developed and then applied elsewhere. First, walls were climbed siege style with lots of aid, then clean aid came along, a bigger proportion of were climbed free, some totally free. The examples given of people climbing hard free routes in the mountains – and held up by some as more worthwhile – exist in many ways because climbing in Yosemite showed what was possible and provided climbers to hone their skills and then apply them in the mountains.
These walls are so significant – there is more climbing on them than many of us do in a season – that it is natural that speed began to become an important criterion for climbers operating in Yosemite. It is in a way a measure of the style of an ascent and a way of differentiating between a bog-standard punter operation (exemplified by the slow team in this video – no disrespect, any climbing on El Cap is hard climbing) and the best climbers of the day. Speed has been used in this way for full-on aid routes, easy walls like the Nose, free climbs and everything in between. It is a way of pushing what can be achieved in rock climbing. The advanced speed techniques developed by climbers in the valley will open up hard, long routes in many other parts of the world, including the greater ranges. These guys are not just doing normal climbing, but fast. They are using innovative techniques and systems, often with a very small margin for error.
Speed will never become a widespread measure of climbing in most parts of the world. However, Yosemite is a unique place because of its huge walls, quality rock, accessibility and stable weather. It has a unique role in the development of modern climbing. To talk down the significance of this kind of approach is to deny the importance of the valley in our sport.
These kinds of speed attempts are big news because they are important to many climbers who understand what it is like to climb these walls, or have aspirations to. If some of the best climbers of their generation want to give up a few days from their life of full-time climbing to have a few burns on El Cap (be it to see how they fair against their peers, to learn and practise new techniques, to keep their sponsors happy or JUST FOR FUN) then why not? I would.
A bit harsh. I thought the point he made about developing techniques transferable to more significant objectives was a fair and good one. A bit analagous to the technological spin off from from the arms industry!
From his website
-Hans has climbed The Nose Route 76 TIMES.
-Hans has done NIAD 46 times
-Hans has bivied on the route 22 times
-Hans has climbed El Capitan 122 times.
-Hans has turned back on The Nose route eight times.
-Hans has free climbed all but 45 ft of the route.
-Hans has aided on EVERY pitch.
-Hans has climbed the route in less than three hours.
-Hans has taken more than three days on the route.
-Hans has climbed the route by himself.
-Hans has climbed the route with seven people.
-Hans wrote the book on Speed Climbing.
-Hans has climbed the route in winter, summer, spring, and fall.
-Hans climbed the route 20 years ago, and three months ago.
-Hans has rappelled the whole route once.( in 8.5 hours, filming along the way down.)
Climbing quickly and efficiently is great fun and, although UK climbers don't commonly measure themselves with time, it is as a valid a measure as difficulty. It's certainly a more objective measure.
In reply to Tom_Harding:
From the horses mouths:
Their best time of 3.45 included ~15 minutes posing for photos, and they were confident they could get the time down to 3.00 with a few more practice runs. They though a sub-2.30 time was achievable but going faster than 3.00 would necessitate taking unacceptable risks (!), so they gave up on the project.
Idle gossip from the bridge suggested the Humberbaum were coming back for another go at the record later in the year.
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