Half a century atop El Capitan

Fifty years ago, Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan was climbed for the first time. Today, we celebrate that milestone with a continuation of the initial effort. Let’s face it, nobody will ever be first again, but you can still be part of the tradition.

Once upon a time, El Capitan was thought to be insurmountable, due in large part to a 3,000-foot granite cliff. Warren Harding assembled a small team and invested 47 days over more than a year in setting up climbing hardware and logistics to get to the top. The final drive took 12 days. This led to the glory of being first.

Today, the climb is considerably different.

Six months ago, two climbers made the summit in a hair more than 2 ½ hours. Modern equipment, advanced dietary technology and improved clothing have made this possible. That being said, the view from the top remains the view from the top.

Check out the video after the jump.