|At the end of May Tommy Caldwell freed the Dihedral Wall, on El Capitan, Yosemite. The former aid route, graded A3 5.8, was climbed by the 25 year old American over a four day period and, with one 5.13d pitch (8b+), is now considered to be the hardest big wall free climb in Yosemite. |
Many of the El Capitan's big wall routes have been freed in recent years, above all by the German Huber brothers. With the first free ascent of the Dihedral Wall, Caldwell has now has climbed seven routes: Lurking Fear, West Buttress, Dihedral Wall, Salathé Wall, Muir Wall, and Zodiac. Chris McNamara of supertopo.com has the details:
"It seems that every El Capitan route Tommy Caldwell touches turns into a free climb. On saturday May 22, Tommy finished free climbing the Dihedral Wall which is now likely the hardest big wall free climb in Yosemite.
Over 4 days, Caldwell, along with Beth Rodden-Caldwell and Adam Stack, climbed a staggering number of hard free climbing pitches on one El Cap's oldest and most distinct lines. The free Dihedral Wall follows the original aid line very closely with only a few variations.
The first five pitches are 5.12. The crux 6th pitch is rated 5.14a, the first pitch to receive that rating on El Capitan. After that comes a unrelenting 9 pitches pitches of 5.13. Of those, one is rated 5.13d, a few are rated 5.13c, and many are rated 5.13b."