Alexander Huber has done it again! The strong German, together with his partner Max Reichel, has managed to find and free another line up the massive El Capitan in Yosemite.
As usual the route is long and difficult: 35 pitches up to 5.13b. Or to put it in different terms, French 8a, 1000 m up El Capitans granite cracks, freed in one single 48-hour push at the start of October.
This new free line dubbed El Corazon weaves its way along established routes. It goes without saying therefore that Alexander had previously climbed sections of this route. Just as it goes without saying that this newest creation is extremely beautiful, comparable in terms of difficulty to El Nino.
But lets hear what Alexander had to say about Yosemites latest addition.
click images to enlarge topos and route photograph
EL CORAZAN by Alexander Huber
On the 7th of September my partner Max Reichel and started to look for a new freeable line on the southwest face of El Capitan. Finally, on the 14th of September we reached the top of El Capitan. Even though we used aid on some sections during the first ascent, all necessary links for a 100% free line had been found.
The new line 'El Corazon' is a combination of Salathé, Albatross, Son of Heart and Heart Route plus some new established variations to link the freeable sections of the existing routes. Besides placing some new bolts on belay stations, no single bolt was placed for the new route. Pitons and Bird Beaks, which were placed during the first ascent for the necessary new variations, were left as protection for the free climb.
I returned to the route three more times (6 days in total) to work on freeing the different pitches. On the 3rd of October at 10 a.m. I started, together with Max, along the base of the Salathé to free the route in a single push.
On the first day I climbed up 17 pitches and bivied on the Grey Ledges, and on the second day I continued up to The Tower to the People. After an early start I reached the top on the 3rd day at 9.45 a.m. I redpointed all 35 pitches in less than 48 hours.
El Corazon (El Capitan, Yosemite, America)
5.13b - 35 pitches
1st ascent: A. Huber - M. Reichel (09/2001)
1st free ascent A. Huber (3-5/10/2001)
Big Wall according to Huber
Salathe Wall 5.13b (1995)
Freerider 5.13a (1998)
El Nino 5.13c (1998)
Golden Gate 5.13b (2000)
El Corazon 5.13b (2001)
Further info: www.huberbuam.de
Photos: top: 28th pitch 5.13a; left: Huber climbing the 30th pitch 5.13.
Photos by Peter Mathis taken in 2000