New speed-climbing record set on El Capitan
October 17, 2007 It’s not exactly new technology, but the human body is still the most impressive piece of hardware on the planet - and when it attains spectacular new milestones like this one, we see it as worthy of our readers attention. Alexander and Thomas Huber have set a new speed-climbing record on the Nose of El Capitan – scaling the famous rock face in Yosemite National Park in a time of 2hr 45min 45sec.
The October 8th climb comes nearly fifty years after the first successful climb of the Nose of El Capitan - it took Warren J Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore 47 days to ascend the 1000m-high face in 1958 – and breaks the previous record set by Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama in 2006 by over three minutes.
“Thomas and I live for our sport and therefore we wanted to use the chance to climb faster than anybody else on that route,” said Alexander Huber, 38, afterwards.
“The nose is the most famous route in the world and El Capitan is the most important rock face in climbing.” Huber said. “It’s just great to be there and do such crazy things like speed climbing!”
The Bavarian-born brothers used Suunto Core wristops during the climb to monitor not only time, but also their altitude as they ascended at a rate of almost 6.1m per minute.
Their preparation included spending four weeks in Yosemite National Park making numerous dummy runs on the face.
For the two brothers, who were introduced to alpinism by their father, a respected climber in his own right, claiming the record has special significance.
“We started the whole project exactly two years ago,” Alexander explains. “Due to accidents and injuries we failed twice, so it cost a lot of motivation to come back and give it another try.”
“But the more it costs the more memorable it is.”