Findlay, McHaffie and Dyer Free Big El Cap Route

by Alan James - UKC and UKH Oct/2012
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There has been some great success for British climbers in Yosemite this Autumn. Hazel Findlay, James McHaffie and Neil Dyer have made the second ascent of Pre-Muir on El Capitain in Yosemite, and Dan McManus and Callum Muskett freed the Golden Gate in 5 days.

+Neil Dyer, Hazel Findlay and James McHaffie after their ascent of the Pre-Muir on El Cap, 176 kbNeil Dyer, Hazel Findlay and James McHaffie after their ascent of the Pre-Muir on El Cap
© James McHaffie

The Pre-Muir route weighs in at 5.13c/d overall (around E8 in UK grades) has 33(ish) pitches and was first climbed by Justen Sjong and Rob Miller back in 2007 after several year's of effort. It takes a line up the centre of El Cap following parts of the Muir Wall, The Shaft and The Shield but also includes some 5.13 climbing of its own.

+The corners on the Muir Wall. Photo: Tom Evans, 128 kbThe corners on the Muir Wall. Photo: Tom Evans
© Tom Evans

Hazel got her first taste of Yosemite big wall climbing last year with a free ascent of Golden Gate (UKC report and interview). Caff has plenty of experience of big walls but after a terrible trip to Yosemite last year, he had vowed never to return. The pair teamed up again though and were joined by Neil Dyer for their attempt on the Pre-Muir. Meanwhile Dan McManus and Callum Muskett made their attempt on Golden Gate (5.13a).

The crux pitch has to be one of the best pitches I've ever climbed. It starts up a perfect 90 degree corner, with no face holds and no foot holds

Hazel has written an excellent detailed account of their ascent on her blog here which is well worth reading. Overall the route took them 6 days and Hazel and Caff both managed to free every pitch.

Some photos below of the ascent of Pre-Muir below.

+The Silver Fish Corner: the first of many hard corners on the Muir, 5.13b, 165 kbThe Silver Fish Corner: the first of many hard corners on the Muir, 5.13b
© Hazel Findlay
+Chicken Head Ledge, an amazing bivy for two nights. Here Caff and Neil jug up to try the final crux 13c corner., 147 kbChicken Head Ledge, an amazing bivy for two nights. Here Caff and Neil jug up to try the final crux 13c corner.
© Hazel Findlay
photo
Hazel Findlay resting from the hot sun during the middle part of the day.
UKC News, Oct 2012
© Hazel Findlay
photo
The crux corner of the Pre-Muir
UKC News, Oct 2012
© Hazel Findlay

Hazel Findlay is sponsored by Black Diamond , The North Face , Sterling Rope and La Sportiva

James McHaffie is sponsored by Arc'teryx, DMM , Sterling Rope and Red Chili

Thanks to Tom Evans of Yosemite Report for his photos

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