Angus Kille frees El Niño, El Capitan

© Drew Smith/Black Diamond

Angus Kille has freed El Niño, a 2,500 foot 5.13b/c (8a+) route on El Capitan, Yosemite.

The twenty-six pitch route was first climbed in 1998 by the Huber brothers, with Leo Houlding making the second free ascent later that same year, onsighting every pitch except the first two. Angus climbed the Pineapple Express variation, established by Sonnie Trotter in 2018.

Angus' ascent of El Niño is his second free ascent on El Cap, having made a free ascent of El Corazon (5.13b) alongside Dan McManus in 2019.

Both Angus and Hazel Findlay have been on an extended US trip since mid-September. Last month saw them take on The Free Hallucinogen Wall (5.13c), which they swung leads throughout. During their time on El Niño, Angus freed all the pitches, whilst Hazel came just short, unable to free the final two hardest pitches.

'Red-raw fingertips, my lower back in spasm from hauling, and a painful intercostal injury, and that was just Day 1', Angus shared on Instagram.

'Six days on a big wall is hard work, but something about it is really positive and rewarding. We've just got down safely from El Cap, buzzing from a mission that was daunting from the beginning'.

'For now we're in recovery mode, but thanks everyone for all the psyche and positivity I've not been able to respond to while on the wall'.

Hazel added, 'Angus managed to free all the pitches over five days which was super impressive to witness... I had an amazing experience that I'll treasure forever with my partner'.

We've contacted Angus and will hopefully be asking him some questions about the ascent in the coming days.

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Angus Kille is a British climber and AMI Mountaineering Instructor based in North Wales. Angus is famous for ascents of hard UK trad routes, including The Indian Face, and has also climbed sport 9a.

Angus's Athlete Page 19 posts 2 videos

15 Nov, 2023

Well done Angus, mega scenes from the Brits in the Valley this autumn!

Now we just have to wait and see how Franco gets on with the Dawn Wall ;)

15 Nov, 2023

Inspiring news from the valley! Congratulations

15 Nov, 2023

Re Leo "onsighting every pitch except the first two", is that correct or did you mean the final two?

16 Nov, 2023

He grabbed a quick draw on the second pitch on his on sight attempt I think or something like that.

16 Nov, 2023

I know it's a bit anoraky but it would be good to get some clarification on this. The first two pitches are only 5.6 and 5.9. It's pitches 3-5 which are 5.13+ and absolutely nails.


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