They are climbing the three thousand foot Dawn Wall at Yosemite’s El Capitan because it is there.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are also climbing it to become the first ever to ascend the vertical wall of granite by “free-climbing.” The Fresno Bee reported that the pair are climbing without the aid of pegs, ropes or other gear that helps them climb. They do, however, have a safety rope to protect them from what could be a fatal fall.
Saturday both of their journeys progressed as Kevin Jorgeson traversed Pitch 15 bleeding from the razor-sharp crevice in which he hung. Jorgeson, who had to take a day off this week to let his torn finger tips heal, hoisted himself up and beyond a section that had thwarted him for seven days from climbing further up the cliff.
“Pure Joy” was the emotional facebook page entry that the 30-year-old from Santa Rosa shared after getting beyond the difficult stretch.
Pure joy. Pitch 15 finally went down after 11 attempts over 7 days. Riding high, I stuck the dyno on Pitch 16,… http://t.co/P80RP91QA0
— Kevin Jorgeson (@kjorgeson) January 10, 2015
Jorgenson and the 36-year-old Coloradan Caldwell are free climbing El Capitan at its steepest section which soars over a half mile into the air. The expanse also known as the Wall of the Early Morning Light, according to the Los Angeles Times, is possibly the hardest free-climb in the world.
Caldwell advanced several pitches ahead of his partner and is now two-thirds up the treacherous rout and is about 1,000 feet from finishing.
Support crews told the Bee, that the two free climbers, who have been journeying for 16 days above a growing crowd of enthusiastic onlookers, could reach the top by mid-next week.