Tommy Caldwell’s Climb

Here’s a piece by climber Tommy
Caldwell on his effort to free climb the
Dihedral Wall of El Capitan, one of the
most grueling rock faces in the world, and widely considered one of the hardest big-wall free climbs in the world. The
story is riveting and the prose quite sharp as Caldwell describes his preparations (endless full days of training) as
well as the agony as he makes the ascent.

My arms were seizing every time I lifted them above my head. Blood was seeping from holes in my fingers, knees,
elbows, shins, and forehead.

The climb he describes is pretty much unimaginable to folks like myself. I’ve been to Yosemite numerous times, have
gazed up the face of El Capitan, and I still have trouble imagining how anyone could possibly the hardest big-wall free
climb in the worldscale the face of that rock, let alone do so solo. It’s an incredible feat.

Anyway, read this. It’s a long piece, but climbing
buffs will find every detail delicious.