News just in: Pete Whittaker has made the first all-free solo ascent of El Capitan, Yosemite in a day, using rope solo techniques. Pete climbed the classic 37-pitch Freerider (5.12d) 5.12d in just 20 hours and 6 minutes, which he flashed in 2014. Only two previous attempts to rope solo El Capitan 'all-free' have ever been made, the records via Freerider standing at 7 days and 4 days by Stéphane Perron and Jorg Verhoeven respectively.
Having only taken up rope soloing seriously this year, Pete has learned and mastered the relevant skills and techniques incredibly quickly. Travelling to Squamish, Canada in August, Pete came away with fast multi-route rope solo climbs, including two separate triple-route ascents on the 2,303ft granite monolith, the Squamish Chief, in under 24 hours (UKC interview).
Pete began climbing at 3:02pm on Wednesday and topped out at 11:08am on Thursday morning.
Commenting on how it felt to top out, Pete told UKC:
'I was pretty knackered at the top. It was difficult to do all the rope logistics, handling, cleaning and jumaring whilst climbing trickyish pitches. I was just psyched to climb a wall by myself and top out on my own, it felt like I'd worked hard...and I like working hard!'
Rope soloing guru Andy Kirkpatrick reported the news on Twitter and commented on Pete's achievement:
'What a legend!'
Full interview to follow shortly...
- Read a UKC interview with Pete about his rope soloing exploits in Squamish this Autumn.
Visit Pete's Facebook Page.
Pete is sponsored by: Climb On, Five Ten, Patagonia, Sterling Rope and Wild Country