Yosemite Cools Down But Hots Up

It's prime season in Yosemite and along with cooler temperatures things are hotting up on the climbing front. Fresh from his onsight of the Northwest Face of Half Dome in a day an on-form Leo Houlding then completed a two day ascent of El Cap's Freerider (VI - 5.12d), Alex Huber's free variation to the Salathé Wall. Houlding " fell once from the 12d boulder problem pitch but dispensed it second try," according to Kevin Thaw. The Huberbaum, Alex and Tomas Huber were involved in a filmed speed ascent of the Nose (5.8 - A2 or 5.14a) but these plans have been curtailed after Alex took a 50ft fall on easy ground quite amazingly sustaining only a twisted and impact-bruised ankle. On the same climb Hans 'Hollywood' Florine has upped the anté on the solo Nose in a day (NIAD) record climbing the route in 11 hours 41 minutes. The past record of 12 hours 59 minutes was held by Dean Potter during Potter's one-day solo of both El Cap and Half Dome in 1999. Florine also holds the speed record on The Nose of 2 hours 48 minutes, set with Yuji Hirayama in 2002. You can read Florine's account of his ascent here.

Finally Yosemite Falls witnessed some Euro action when on his second trip to Yosemite, Belgian Nicolas Favresse climbed a new route, the bolt-free L'Appât (VI 5.13a), a 12-pitch route that in some parts is protected by manky copperheads that he tested with 30-ft falls.

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