El Capitan: Peter Zabrok and Sean Warren make long-awaited first repeat of Adrift in Yosemite
American rock climber Peter Zabrok and Britain's Sean Warren have made the long-awaited first repeat of Adrift, the difficult big wall aid climb up the SE Face of El Capitan first ascended in early 1994 by Steve Quinlan and Paul Pritchard.
El Capitan exploit not only for Alex Honnold, but also for America's Peter Zabrok and Britain's Sean Warren who have pulled off what is likely to be only the second ascent of Adrift, the difficult aid climb up the SE Face of El Capitan established back in early 1994 by America’s Steve Quinlan and Britain’s Paul Pritchard.
Originally rated 5.11 A3+ VI, the 1000m route climbs a line to the right of Mescalito and to the left of Wall of Early Morning Light, and sections of the route were shared by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson when the duo made the first free ascent of the most difficult free climb on El Cap, Dawn Wall in 2015.
Despite being such a plumb line, surprisingly the route is reported to have never been repeated in its entirety, and in mid May Zabrok and Warren decided to set the record straight. Using a mix of free climbing and aid climbing the two topped out on 6 June, after having spent 15 nights on the route and experiencing what Zabrok told planetmountain.com was "a bit of an adventure." - a reference not only to a 40-foot fall Warren took, but also because an imprecise topo made route finding somewhat of a challenge. Zabrok stated "the route is excellent and really deserves to be climbed more often. Pritchard and Quinlan did an excellent job."
Remembering his 1994 ascent, Pritchard told planetmountain.com "Adrift climbs the first 8 pitches of what is now Free Dawn before going right up a slanting weakness across the Pacific Ocean to PO Wall. It is one of the most natural lines on the East Face of El Cap, with probably about 14 new pitches at the time. I climbed it with Steve Quinlan just before we left for Baffin Island and made the first ascent of the West Face of Mount Asgard, via our climb Hyperborea." Asked why the route had lain dormant for so long, Pritchard replied "I think big wall aid went out of fashion for a while but it seems to be back now."
This is Zabrok’s 57 different route on El Capitan but as the 57-year-old states "Actually I’ve climbed El Cap over 60 times, having also repeated the Zodiac and done The Nose in day a couple of times. But my proudest number is the number of nights I have spent sleeping on the side of El Cap, not counting sleeping at the base or on the summit… 717 nights."