UKC

Dawn wall: Tommy and Kevin are topping out tonight!

Kevin Jorgeson on Pitch 15, ~9a, Dawn Wall project, El Capitan, Yosemite, 180 kb
Kevin Jorgeson on Pitch 15, ~9a, Dawn Wall project, El Capitan, Yosemite
© Brett Lowell/Big Up Productions

For most of us Wednesday 14 January will go down in history as just another day. For Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson it will from now on be the anniversary of the day they realized a dream - The free Dawn Wall (or whatever the decide to call it).

Seven years ago Tommy checked out the free climbing possibilities on this part of the wall and realized two things:

1: It looked bloody impossible

 

2: It was going to be his next big project

After a while, he somehow managed to sell this impossible dream to Kevin Jorgeson and he went along for the ride. A long ride.

This autumn, after six years of hard work and endless hours on the wall, they finally managed to redpoint all the individual pitches, and they, and the climbing world, realized the dream perhaps wasn't impossible after all.

It was on.

For once, the weather cooperated and The Push was on.

Almost an anti climax, the first 14 pitches didn't put up much of a fight (easy for me to say), and when Tommy did the 15th pitch first go, we almost began wondering what all the fuss was about, but then, the route decided to bite back.

Tommy couldn't do the dyno pitch, but managed to bypass it via "The loop pitch", and could continue all the way up to Wino Tower.
Meanwhile, Kevin was stuck on Pitch 15.

This is where we pick up the story

For a while, things were looking grim for Kevin. After having fought for almost a week with the pitch, it very much seemed as though it would be his nemesis, but in his darkest hour, the necessary aid came... in form of high resolution photos.
Kevin analyzed his crux sequence and realized he was placing his foot slightly wrong on one of the tiny non holds. After that, he never looked back. He blasted (well...) through the pitch and then, the following day, he did the next 9a pitch, including the 8 foot sideways dyno, as well.

With that kind of momentum, nothing was now stopping him, and after a couple of days of 8a+ and 8b climbing, he was up on Wino Tower and the hard climbing was over.

Climbing feats are impossible to compare, so let's just say that tonight they are making free climbing history.

Then, rumour has, it they'll go for one more lap.

Photo: Brett Lowell/BigUpProductions

Tommy Caldwell is sponsored by: Black Diamond, Bluewater Ropes, Clifbar, Climb On, La Sportiva, Patagonia and REVO Sunglasses

Kevin Jorgeson is sponsored by: Black Diamond, adidas, FiveTen, Sterling Rope, Asana



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