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Pete Whittaker climbing the Monster Offwidth at night during his one day rope-solo ascent of Freerider on El Capitan, Yosemite
Photo by Dustin Moore

Video: Pete Whittaker rope-solo climb up El Capitan

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The video of Pete Whittaker and his rope-solo free ascent of Freerider up El Capitan in Yosemite. Carried out in November 2016, with this ascent the British climber became the first person to rope solo, all free, El Cap in under 24 hours.



Between 9 and 10 November 2016 Pete Whittaker carried out a somewhat unusual, highly remarkable ascent, namely a fantastic solitary repeat of Freerider up El Capitan in Yosemite. The Brit did so on his own, with a rope, and completely free; having set off at 15:02 on Wednesday 9 November he topped out at 11:08 on Thursday 10 November after just one fall. In doing so Whittaker became the first to climb El Cap in this style, i.e. alone, self-belaying with a rope, climbing the nigh 1000 meter route all free in less than 24 hours.

In order to avoid confusion, it’s worth remembering the following: in May 2007 Canadian climber Stéphane Perron made a rope-solo free ascent of Freerider over seven days, while over 4 days in 2016 Dutchman Jorg Verhoeven repeated the 1998 masterpiece of Alexander Huber and Tomas Huber, albeit climbing one pitch on toprope. And obviously there’s the monumental ascent carried out by Alex Honnold seven months later, on Saturday 3 June 2017 to be precise, when the American made his paradigm shifting free solo - without a rope - of Freerider on El Capitan. We’ll need to wait a while longer to see the footage of Honnold’s solo, but in the meantime here’s Whittaker’s superb ascent. It’s worth noting that seven months prior to his Freerider rope solo, Whittaker had never climbed a route on his own before.

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