On August 30, Ivo Ninov of Bulgaria, and Nico Favresse of Belgium, established Lost in Translation (V 5.12b/c), a new 10-pitch free route on El Capitan. This is the first time a ground-up, free first ascent has ever happened on El Cap.
Lost in Translation climbs the far east face of the Captain, climbing some pitches on the Waterfall Route, Get Whacked, Darkstar, and Chinese Water Torture, according to Ninov. “I will recommend it; it has a lot of high-quality climbing,” says Ninov, but only skilled climbers with strong lead heads need apply: most of the route involves run out 5.10+ climbing on small gear.
This is the first free route established on the Captain from the ground to the top that Ninov's done. He tried several times to free aid routes on El Cap, but weather and blank sections of rock kept shutting him down. It took Ninov and Favresse 27 hours to complete the climb, on which they only placed cams — they also replaced four or five bolts in existing anchors.
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