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Honnold and Caldwell Burn Through Yosemite

American climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold have pulled off the Yosemite Free-Triple with their recent link-up of Mount Watkins, El Capitan and Half Dome in a record twenty-one hours and fifteen minutes. In total their feat involved 7,000 vertical feet of free climbing over seventy-five guidebook pitches. The pair estimates that they climbed the link-up in thirty pitches with extensive simul-climbing.

Caldwell and Honnold began climbing at 4:45 p.m. on May 18 at the base of Mt. Watkins, summiting the South Face Route (5.13a) two hours and fifty minutes later. They then drove to the base of El Cap, where they began climbing at 10:45pm, summiting the route Free Rider (5.12d) just after 5 a.m. on May 19. They began the Northwest Face of Half Dome (5.12) only a few hours later at 9 a.m., summiting and completing the linkup at 2 p.m. that day.


South Face of Mt. Watkins – 2:50 (Usually 2-3 days).

Free Rider on El Capitan – 6:45 (Usually 4 days).

Regular Northwest Face Route on Half Dome – 5:00 (Usually 4 days).

Total time of all-free link-up (including transit etc.) – 21:15 (Using’s average times for each route the three routes would normally take over 11 days).

The Cleanest Line, Climbing,