Zodiac Free on El Capitan by Jacopo Larcher & Barbara Zangerl
After 5 days on the wall Jacopo Larcher and Barbara Zangerl made a free ascent of the Zodiac, the historic big wall climb on the southeast face of El Capitan, Yosemite.
It’s all happening in Yosemite at the moment. After the first repeat of the Dihedral Wall by Jorg Verhoeven and while Adam Ondra is attempting to repeat the Dawn Wall, slightly further to the right on El Capitan South Tyrol’s Jacopo Larcher and Austria’s Barbara Zangerl have just completed a rare repeat of the free version of the Zodiac.
First climbed by Charlie Porter alone in November 1972 - an experience that paved the way for another three absolute masterpieces, namely The Shield (1972), Mescalito (1973) and Tangerine Trip (1973) - Zodiac was climbed free for the first time in 2003 by Thomas Huber and his brother Alexander Huber. The Huber brothers breached difficulties up to 8b and a few weeks later young Tommy Caldwell made the first and probably only repeat of this free version.
Before today’s success Larcher and Zangerl worked the individual pitches, often at night to find the right friction and also to avoid the "traffic" on this popular outing, then 5 days ago they began their push. Both led all difficult pitches, those harder than 5.12+, and after the ascent Larcher stated "It felt pretty hard for the grade, as most of the hard pitches are really complex to climb, but they are all amazing. Most of them seemed impossible at the beginning, but with dedication and perseverance everything becomes possible :-)"
16/10/2003 - Alexander and Thomas Huber free the Zodiac
Thomas and Alexander Huber have freed the Zodiac on El Capitan, Yosemite, America