For the first time ever, two men, 30-year-old Kevin Jorgeson and 36-year-old Tommy Caldwell, will ascend one of the world’s largest and most difficult cliff-climbing routes in the world using only their hands and feet.
They are climbing El Capitan, a 3,000-foot-tall granite monolith in Yosemite National Park in California. This monolith has been climbed many times before, but they are ascending the Dawn Wall route, a sheer face of rock considered by many to be the longest and hardest free climb in the world.
Jorgeson and Caldwell are climbing with ropes, but these are used to protect them from falls, not as climbing aids. The razor-sharp holds on the rock wall tend to cut their fingers, so they spend occasional rest days in their tents, suspending them hundreds of feet up as they let their fingers heal.