/ NEWS: Leo Houlding Frees The Prophet - El Capitan

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UKC News - on 28 Oct 2010
Leo on the amazing crack 'A1 Beauty' pitch of the Prophet, El Capitan, Yosemite, 4 kbLeo Houlding, partnered by Jason Pickles, has free climbed his long-term project on El Capitan: The Prophet.

"He started well, moving in his smooth, measured style... he chalked a couple of times and went to meet his fate..."

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=58588

Niall Grimes - on 28 Oct 2010
Ah brilliant
hobblingfool - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: Best climbing news of the year. Have the picture of the crack pitch as my desktop and it cheers me up every morning at work. It’s a stunning line, very inspiring. Well done to both of them.
Henry Iddon - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:

nice work.... the springer has sprung!

And well done Jason as well - lets not forget the man on the other end of the rope.
Alastair Lee - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to hobblingfool: Amazing achievement, congrats to both Leo and Jason. I must also add that this is some of, if not the, best free climbing I've ever seen, wild... UKC will be running an exclusive clip soon.

Oh and if you want a desktop of the crack pitch - https://www.posingproductions.com/wallpaper.php
In reply to Alastair Lee: I wish I could make it to Kendal this year to see your film Al.

I guess I'll just have to watch it on my laptop.

Won't be the same.

That crack looks brilliant but desperate.

Max factor - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Congrats guys, this is great news. I remember reading stories of Leo & Jason trying this line about the time I started climbing. To try this ground up, climbing into the unknown on a wall like El Cap was pretty ballsy. And the time & effort to free the line shows just how hard and scary the climbing must have been. Looking forward to seeing the vids.
MattH - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to Max factor:

I remember listening to Leo at a lecture a long time ago and he said that after his first trip to Yosemite he promised himself that he would go back ever year without fail. Looks like it's paid off!

Congratulations Leo, am psyched for you!
standard on 28 Oct 2010
monkeyboyraw - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to Alastair Lee: Any ideas when you'll have that clip?
It sounds like it was a bit of an epic. More footage for Kendal?
Alastair Lee - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to monkeyboyraw: Clip should be ready for Monday, then the whole film will be at Kendal...
Mark Collins - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: Superb news, this has made my day thanks for reporting.
Henry L Buckle - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:

The word 'lieback' really grates on me.
Simon Caldwell - on 28 Oct 2010
Cragrat Rich on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:


I'm a big Leo fan....
Proper cool and exciting dude!

Any chance of getting it screened on BBC Scotland?? ;-)
highclimber - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: Hats off to that man. 10 years is a long time for a single project; enough to put all but the most determined off.

all I can say is well done Leo and Jason.
Andrew.Davies - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: Is this the route on the back of the last edition of western grit? I just assumed that project would have fallen long ago
rubben - on 28 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: Fantastic! Cannot wait to see the footage!
Erik B - on 29 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: I take it it Tom Evans has a very powerful pair o binoculars and a degree in english literature?

the world has gone mad truely ;)

Kipper-Phil Smith - on 29 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Great News. The stories of the early attempts on this were really inspiring. Really glad to see it done at last
Fishmate - on 29 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Truly inspiring. Both Leo and Jason. As for El Cap and the line up A1 Beauty. It is quite simply, art! Amazing.
Roger Irrelevant - on 30 Oct 2010
Fantastic news. Awesome feat, big congrats to them both.
Bigger cojones than the proverbial brahma bull!
Can't wait to see the film.
Well done.
MattH - on 30 Oct 2010
In reply to Roger Irrelevant:

Check out an interview with Leo this afternoon on BBC Radio Derby:

sutty on 30 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Great stuff.

I was jesting today that he was being a trifle optimistic if he thought he could land on that 'mat' if he fell off.
Randy Baird on 31 Oct 2010 - whois?
In reply to UKC News:

Brilliant effort.
MattH - on 01 Nov 2010
Sean Kelly - on 01 Nov 2010
In reply to UKC News: Great effort, but what grade is this desperate route?
Alastair Lee - on 01 Nov 2010
E8 6b,6b,6a,6b,6c,6c,6b,6c,7a,6a,7a,6b,6c
550m, 1800 ft

Chad123 - on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Make that E9! Saw Leo last night at Ratho and the footage of the A1 Beauty Pitch was proper edge of the seat stuff....
Postmanpat on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Can somebody put this in context for those of us who don't spend their lives following the latest developments?

How many all free routes are there on El cap? How hard are they? How many are old aid routes?How many are all "fresh" routes? How many people have put up free routes on El Cap?

Is Royal Robbins still the king of the valley?
Michael Ryan - on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to Postmanpat:

At your service; See this interview I did with Leo, at the base is a list of free routes on El Cap


No Royal Robbins has retired.

To save you clicking on the link.

El Cap Free Big Walls (and nearly free)

2010 could be a big year for El Cap free routes, as well as Leo's line The Prophet, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson have put much work in on a line on El Capitan's southeast face, a 900-meter route (linking up sections of the Dawn Wall and Mescalito) that is likely the hardest big wall free climb in the world, mind-bogglingly stacked with numerous 5.14 pitches - think 8b and 8c, and E10 if you need a translation, but lots of it - these aren't no single pitch headpoints partner! We'll see what happens and keep you posted at UKClimbing.com.

Below is a timeline of El Cap Free (and nearly free) Big Walls.

Free Blast - 5.11b (The Free Blast goes only to Mammoth Terraces, about 1/3 of the way up El Cap) FFA - Jim Bridwell, John Long, Kevin Worrall, Mike Graham, John Bachar, and Ron Kauk

West Face - 5.11b FFA - Ray Jardine, Bill Price.

Salathe' Wall - 5.13b FFA - Todd Skinner, Paul Piana. (12 ascents)

Excalibur - 5.13a, A4 (75% free) FA - Steve Schneider, Bill Price, Jeff Schoen.

The Nose - 5.13c/5.14b FFA - Lynn Hill. (4 ascents)

El Nino - 5.13c A0 FFA - Alex and Thomas Huber. (7 ascents)

Salathe' Wall / Freerider - 5.12d FFA - Alex and Thomas Huber. (Over 30 ascents)

Golden Gate (Salathe' Wall / Heart Route) - 5.13b FFA - Alex and Thomas Huber.(13 ascents)
Lurking Fear - 5.13c FFA - Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden.

The Shaft (Muir/Shaft/Shield combination) - 5.13c FFA - Tommy Caldwell, Nick Sagar.
El Corazon (Free Blast(Salathe') / Flight of the Albatross / Son of Heart / Heart Route combination) - 5.13b FFA - Alex Huber.

West Buttress - 5.13c FFA - Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden Caldwell.
New Jersey Turnpike - 5.13? A0? 80% free FA - Leo Houlding, Ivo Ninov, Tim and Tom Morrow.
Zodiac - 5.13d FFA - Alex and Thomas Huber. one repeat

Dihedral Wall - 5.14a FFA - Tommy Caldwell.

Lost in Translation - 5.12b/c (10p: 2 5.12) FA - Nicolas Favresse, Ivo Ninov.

preMuir (Muir/Shaft/Turning Point/Shield) - 5.13d FFA - Rob Miller, Justen Sjong

Magic Mushroom - 5.13d/5.14a FFA - Tommy Caldwell, Justen Sjong.
The Secret Passage - 5.13c R FA/FFA - Nicolas Favresse, Seán Villanueva.
Hardonicus - on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC:

Why two grades for The Nose. Does it depend on how chubby your fingers are?
remus - on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to Hardonicus: i think thats the grade of the 2 hardest pitches, i might just be speaking out of my arse, though.
Hardonicus - on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to remus:

Are there two alternative pitches at the crux? I seem to remember one being the 'Changing Corners Pitch'?
Jeremy Ashcroft - on 05 Nov 2010
In reply to UKC News: Sorry to hijack the thread, but, if you fancy a day on the hill with Leo then it is worth checking out this link - http://tinyurl.com/24myo5r The auction is in aid of funds for Campaign Action Nepal.

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