Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tommy and Alex Strike Again

Tommy received a text from Alex Honnold as we neared Mono Lake on our way to Yosemite asking him if he wanted to free El Corazon (5.13b, 35 pitches) in a day.  (Side Note:  When Tommy and Alex get together some pretty cool stuff usually goes down.  They did the Triple Link Up - free climbing Mount Watkins, El Cap, and Half Dome in a day - in the Valley a few years back, and this past winter they did the first ascent of the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia, Argentina).  Tommy immediately said "no" because it was Dawn Wall season and he wanted to stay focused.  With some quick convincing from Alex and about 2 minutes of thinking Tommy couldn't resist.  He had been mostly bouldering and hang-boarding in preparation for his mega-proj and was a little apprehensive about how he was going to hold up to a free climbing day mission on El Capitan.  Two days after we arrived in the valley they headed up and team freed El Corazon in 15.5 hours (it has taken teams at least 3 days in the past).  Tommy, being the beast that he is and getting to climb with an amazing partner such as Alex, held up okay (I'd say) for freeing El Cap off the big wall couch.  They are both pretty inspiring and together they are hard to stop.  Alpinist did a little write up on the mission here

Alex doing what he does on El Corazon. Photo: Tommy Caldwell

Tommy looking good on El Corazon. Photo: Alex Honnold