Ueli Steck Nearly Onsights El Cap

© Nicole Steck
Swiss climber Ueli Steck free-climbed El Cap's Golden Gate (5.13b, 41 pitches) and fell on only a single pitch, onsighting the rest of the climb.

And the one pitch that spoiled his onsight? It was the 5.11c crack off the top of El Cap Spire, just before Golden Gate heads right from the Salathé Wall. Steck slipped on wet rock on this relatively easy pitch, but onsighted the route's five 5.12 and three 5.13 pitches.

Steck climbed Golden Gate over four days, leading every pitch, with his new wife, Nicole, belaying. (They were honeymooning in the western United States.) Steck also hauled their heavy bag after every lead, adding to his workload.

Full story by Dougald MacDonald at

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23 May, 2009
Awesome! Sounds like a romantic part of their honeymoon. :P
27 May, 2009
why is this not an onsight?
27 May, 2009
Just a guess, but maybe because he fell off!
27 May, 2009
i'm not given to americanisms usually; but i believe the correct term in common parlance is "wad", no?
27 May, 2009
I think that is a Sheffieldism, not a Americanism, is it not? Normally used by UKB denizens as they strip their shirts off and admire each others' pecs in an only slightly homo-erotic way.
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