Ines Papert: Reflection. After years of dominating the competition circuit, Ines Papert now dedicates her time to exploring new locations and putting up first ascents of cutting-edge ice and mixed climbs all over the world.
In this 1970 “CBS Evening News” report, climbers Dean Caldwell and Warren Harding make history as the first to climb El Capitan’s “Wall of Early Morning Light.” Now known as “Dawn Wall,” it's the same cliff face that Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell free-climbed in an equally historic feat. While both had their challenges, the 1970 climb would prove to be more controversial thanks to a spat between the climbers and the National Park Service.
On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made the first free ascent of The Dawn Wall on Yosemite's El Capitan. Watch Tommy climb pitch 15 (5.14c) in this first footage released by the film crew on the wall. “The crux holds of pitch 15 are some of the smallest and sharpest holds I have ever attempted to hold onto,” Tommy wrote on his Facebook page. Four unique camera angles reveal those minuscule holds and the 1,300 feet of exposure under Tommy’s precarious foot placements. While multiple pitches of extremely difficult climbing remained above, the completion of pitch 15 was considered the last major hurdle to the eventual success of this seven-year project. Note: Pitch 15 was originally rated 5.14d, but was downgraded slightly after the completion of the route.
Long considered impossible, coveted by many and attempted by a few, the Fitz Traverse has fueled the imaginations of climbers in Patagonia for decades. Tracing the iconic skyline of Cerro Fitz Roy and its six satellite peaks, it spans four miles and 13,000 feet across snow and ice-covered rock, with epic route finding and endless rapelling. Seizing their chance during a rare extended weather window, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold went big. The pair completed the first ascent in a five-day push during February 2014.
Tommy Caldwell has spent six years working to free climb The Dawn Wall, on the 3,000 foot El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, CA. Along with his partner, Kevin Jorgeson, Caldwell is currently half way up the wall, hoping to succeed on the hardest big wall free climb in the world. In this bonus clip from the new film Valley Uprising, Tommy describes his Dawn Wall obsession, and the parallels with one of Yosemite's pioneers, Warren Harding, who first aid climbed the route in 1970.
Kevin Jorgeson leads Pitch 15 (5.14+), Free Dawn Wall, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park. The crux comes at 7:30 in the video. Watch in HD for best viewing.
Tommy Caldwell climbs the four hardest routes at the Monastery nearby Estes Park, Colorado before heading to Yosemite for another Dawn Wall attempt with Kevin Jorgenson.
It's no surprise to me that ancient Aboriginals who first inhabited the Grampians believed that the surreal landscapes and animated structures of sandstone were designed by a creator named Bunjil in a "dream-state". I have searched the planet for the last sixteen years in hopes of discovering the type of stone and setting which can only be conjured through intense imagination, or extremely vivid dreaming. In 2011, I discovered it. Otherworldly is an understatement, and the whole place reminds me of Pangea. There is something incredibly hard to digest about the whole scene; it's a regular sensation to wonder if everything you experience out in the bush is actually happening, or if you are about to wake up in your bed on the other side of the planet... desperately trying to remember what just happened...if that electric blue sandstone with spider web quartz and lightning bolt-like rails were actually real... if the sun really looked like it was setting into an ocean of fire...and if the birds you heard actually exist. D.G.
Earlier this year Sachi Amma left his mark in the history books of climbing when he crushed the infamous route "Biographie",9a+ in Ceuse, France. Sachi was the 11th person in the world to complete the route opened by Chris Sharma in 2001 who called it "Realization". Sachi said "it felt like touching the history of climbing" and that he was a bit nervous realizing the gravity of his success.
In early 2014, Calum Muskett and Dave McLeod set out for Patagonia to repeat David Lama's free Compressor Route on Cerro Torre. With pitches up to 8a and bold, committing climbing high on the mountain, it is probably one of the hardest alpine climbs in the world. But Patagonia is famous for its foul weather and month-long storms. Would two of Britain's best climbers even get to see the mountain, let alone try one of the hardest, most famous and controversial climbs in the world? Find out more about the expedition at rab.uk.com/patagonia2014/