When it comes to dedication to the sport of rock climbing, it would be impossible to overlook the efforts and successes of the legendary Tommy Caldwell.
Recently nominated as one of National Geographic’s 2015 Adventurers of the Year for the first ever completion of the five-kilometer, seven summit-long Fitz Roy Traverse in Patagonia—this 36-year-old Colorado native has time and again distinguished himself as one of the greatest all-around climbers in the world. Boasting first ascents of some of the most difficult sport climbs in America, such as Flex Luthor (5.14d/5.15a) at the Fortress of Solitude in Colorado, and dominating the big walls of Yosemite with 11 free ascents on El Capitan (including the 2nd free ascent of the Nose), Tommy has truly embodied what it means to commit to a life of challenging and project-driven climbing.
Tommy defines what it means to be a champion:
And Tommy’s feats are nowhere near their end. Just a few weeks ago, he and Alex Honnold teamed up to make the first single-day ascent of the 35-pitch El Corazon (5.13b) route on El Cap in just 15.5 hours. His multi-year project on the Dawn Wall, however, remains to be the ultimate test-piece of his climbing career—a completion that would mark an ascent of the world’s most difficult big wall climb ever.
First compelled to challenge this line in 2007, he and partner Kevin Jorgeson have been battling their way up the 30-pitch route together since 2009. All that remain to be freed are two pitches, graded at about 5.14d. With Tommy’s powerful blend of intense training and passion, little doubt exists that this dream ascent will come to fruition before too long.
A look into Tommy’s training regimen for the Dawn Wall from last year:
Accordingly, Tommy and Kevin have begun this year’s attempt to complete their project on the Dawn Wall. The two plan to stay as long as possible into the winter to make the magic happen. They plan to both redpoint each pitch along the way to claim the send.
From the Dawn Wall project, I’ve learned to take joy in the process and to be patient. I love the way the Dawn Wall breathes energy into my entire life. And I love how it motivates me to constantly push myself.
-Tommy Caldwell in an interview with Rock & Ice
Dawn wall season is fully under way. We have spent the late few weeks reworking pitches and things seem to be coming together nicely. Psyche is high. A photo posted by Tommy Caldwell (@tommycaldwell) on
Best of luck and keep the psych high, Tommy! We can’t wait to see you make your biggest dream come true.
Tommy Caldwell is a professional rock climber sponsored by Patagonia, La Sportiva, Black Diamond, Climb On! Products, Bluewater Ropes, REVO Sunglasses, and CLIF Bar. To follow along his climbing adventures, explore his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.