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El Capitan with the routes West Face, Lurking Fear, Dihedral Wall, Excalibur, Muir Wall, Son of Heart, The Shield, The Salathé Wall, The Nose
Photo by Francesco Piardi

The Nose, new record on El Capitan by Leary and Potter


Sean Leary and Dean Potter have set a new Speed record on The Nose, El Capitan, climbing the route in 2:36:45

20 seconds. That's the time which, after almost 900m of climbing, the Americans Sean Leary and Dean Potter managed to shave off the old speed record of The Nose, El Capitan, Yosemite. Potter - who resides close to the National Park - and Leary raced up the world's most famous vertical track in just 2:36:45, beating the 2:37:05 set by Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine in Ocotober 2010.

What is interesting is that, apart from the amazing time, speed climbing The Nose remains a prized objective for some of the world's best climbers. As recently as June 2010 Alex Honnold teamed up with Swissman Ueli Steck to attempt to break the barrier, but they were forced to abandon the attempt due to Steck's 50 foot fall.

On the meadow beneath El Capitan word has it that Potter and Leary are set for another attempt. Perhaps we'll be hearing more in the very short future.

The Nose, which celebrates its 50 anniversary this year, is one of the world's most famous rock climbs and was first ascended over a five week period by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore. The first free ascent was carried out by none other than Lynn Hill in 1993 in what is hailed as one of the most significant free climbing achievements ever. The route had to wait a further 12 years for its first repeat, at the hands of the extremely talented American Tommy Caldwell.

The Nose, El Capitan, Yosemite, U.S.A.
First ascent:
W. Harding, W. Merry, G. Whitmore - 1958
Length: 870 m (31 pitches)
Grade: 5.13c or 5.9 A2
First free ascent: Lynn Hill '93





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