Yosemite’s El Capitan Stonewalls but Doesn’t Stop Free Climbers

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Somewhere up on that impossibly vertical rock face, two men were inching toward accomplishing what had never been done before.

Tommy Caldwell, left, and Kevin Jorgeson climb Pitch 15 on Yosemite National Park's El Capitan rock formation Friday. (Credit: Tom Evans/elcapreport.com)
Tommy Caldwell, left, and Kevin Jorgeson climb Pitch 15 on Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan rock formation Friday. (Credit: Tom Evans/elcapreport.com)

Tommy Caldwell, 36, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, could become the first to “free climb” the Dawn Wall. They are propelling themselves up this 3,000-foot section of Yosemite’s El Capitan using only fingers and toes wedged into the granite’s tiniest cracks and indentations. They use ropes only to catch themselves when they fall — which they do often — and not to aid in their ascent.

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