On July 2, 2008, Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama climbed the Nose on El Capitan in 2:43:33, besting the previous record by just over two minutes. Florine and Hirayama held the iconic route’s speed record from 2002 until last autumn, when Alex and Thomas Huber broke it twice, establishing 2:45:45 as the new time to beat.
With hopes of again holding the speed record for the Nose, Hirayama of Japan flew in to California for two weeks to join Florine in Yosemite Valley. The pair spent about a week ramping up for their attempt on Sunday, June 29, which proved just shy of the Hubers’s time (read the June 30, 2008 NewsWire for more information and a history of speed climbing on the Nose).
However, their speed ascent on Wednesday–the last chance for Hirayama to try for the record before flying home–proved successful. On Florine’s website, www.speedclimb.com, Tom Evans reported that “it was a zoo [in the Valley].”
More speed climbing details will be posted on Alpinist.com as they become available.