Yosemite’s El Capitan. The Nose, the first and arguably most well known route on the face, is thirty-one pitches. First climbed all free in 1994 by Lynn Hill, The Nose has seen a number of speed records in the last several years; the Huber brothers climbed two record-setting times in October. [Photo] Luke Bauer
Alexander and Thomas Huber, the brilliant Bavarian brothers, have set a new speed record on the thirty-one pitches of El Capitan’s The Nose, clocking in a time of two hours, forty five minutes and forty five seconds, shaving a few minutes off both Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine’s 2002 record of 2:48:55, and their own record-setting climb from a few days earlier.
On October 4, the brothers broke the 2002 record for the first time. Initially, it was unclear if the brothers had, in fact, climbed The Nose faster than the 2002 time, as the record had been variously quoted as a flat two hours and forty eight minutes, 2:48:30, and 2:48:55, but upon discussion with Florine via email, it was determined that the actual time of his and Hirayama’s ascent was 2:48:55. Teams attempting to set speed records on The Nose traditionally end their times at a large tree on top of El Cap.
After this attempt, the brothers’ believed that their time could be improved substantially; Thomas dropped one of the team’s two etriers while climbing through the Great Roof pitch, which slowed the pair for the remainder of the climb.
On their second successful record attempt, October 8, the brothers employed simulclimbing to speed through a few of the easier pitches, which they had not attempted previously. Phototgrapher Tom Evans posted his firsthand description of the climb on Supertopo.com, detailing a few harrowing moments for the Hubers.