UKC

The Nose freed by Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher

© Barbara Zangerl

Austrian-South Tyrolean couple Barbara 'Babsi' Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher have both freed The Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in 6 days. Babsi's ascent is only the third free ascent by a woman after first ascensionist Lynn Hill, who broke boundaries with her first free ascent in 1993. The line has received three free ascents this season, from Belgian climber Sébastien Berthe earlier this month, and now Babsi and Jacopo, making for the 7th, 8th and 9th free ascents of all time.

Gipfel!!!!!! Couldn't be any fetzgeiler!!!

A post shared by Babsi Zangerl (@babsizangerl) on

For Babsi, this was her fifth free route on El Capitan, having ticked-off Magic Mushroom (VI 5.14a), Zodiac (VI 5.13d) and El Niño (VI 5.13c A0) in previous years. This spring, Jacopo and Babsi planned to attempt the free Nose, but The Great Roof pitch was too wet and mossy to climb, so they set their sights on the Pre-Muir (VI 5.13d), which only Babsi managed to free. This season, conditions improved and after working the moves on the two key pitches - The Great Roof and the Changing Corners - the pair were ready to attempt their free push. Each climber led the hardest pitches and swung leads on the easier pitches.

On Instagram, Babsi commented: 'Summit! Couldn't be any more phenomenal!!!'

The Nose has attracted attention from female climbers considering a free ascent in recent years. Nina Caprez has spent time working the route alongside Lynn Hill in the past few seasons, but falling short on the notoriously difficult Changing Corners pitch. In 2005, Beth Rodden and Tommy Caldwell freed the route, each leading or following every pitch free.

Sébastien Berthe wrote about his recent free ascent on Instagram, which he completed with Loic Debry: 'I led all the pitches above 5.12a and we swapped leads on the easy pitches. The roof and the corners were climbed on preplaced gear. Until the end, I wouldn't have bet on my success, but I kept fighting: I even had to add two extra days as we had planned only 6 days on the wall. I got the Changing Corners beast on the last try that our food supplies allowed us.'


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26 Nov, 2019

Great stuff.

Didn't Beth rodden also free it, making babsi the 3rd woman?

26 Nov, 2019

Beth and Tommy did it half and half each, as it says in the report.

26 Nov, 2019

Pretty sure Beth Rodden is widely considered to have freed the nose. This report https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.climbing.com/.amp/news/caldwell-rodden-free-the-inosei/ at the time says "each led or followed every pitch free" snd they lead about half of the pitches each. The only caveat I can think of is that I don't think she lead the changing corners pitch, she did lead great roof though. Not that not leading changing corners would disqualify it from being a free ascent anyway.

26 Nov, 2019

Beth didn't lead the Changing Corners pitch according to Climbing.com, but you are correct in that it is still technically a free ascent. Babsi's ascent is closer to Lynn's 1993 ascent.

26 Nov, 2019

Thanks for changing it :) In the same vein I think it should be 7th, 8th, 9th of all time, rather than 6th, 7th, 8th. (Hill 1993, [Burke 1998, which no-one seems to count these days, bit of a shame given he put so much effort in], Rodden 2005, Caldwell 2005, Verhoeven 2014, Kurakami 2018, Herson 2018, Berthe 2019, Zangerl 2019, Larcher 2019). Nitpicking, sorry.

Also, goes without saying really, but obviously a great effort from Babsi and Jacopo, to be honest given their success rate on El Cap free routes I'm more shocked by the news that they had a failed attempt earlier in the year than the news that they've done it!

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