In 1958, Warren Harding achieved the first ascent of El Capitan’s The Nose route in Yosemite Valley. In 1993, Lynn Hill accomplished the first free ascent of this route (5.14), and completed the first free ascent in a single day the following year. Thereafter, it was not until 2005 that The Nose saw another free ascent, when Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden completed the first team free ascent.

It would take almost another decade until someone else achieved a free ascent of this iconic climb—a clear indicator of the immense difficulty that this route presents. Finally, in November of 2014, after spending 30 days in Yosemite Valley, Jorg Verhoeven sent one of the world’s most famous climbs.

In this week’s Friday Flick Pick, Jorg shares his experience of what it took to tackle this exceptionally challenging and daunting route. You’ll also hear from Tommy Caldwell and Lynn Hill about the history of The Nose, and the major physical and mental obstacles it presents to those brave enough to try it.

I see the amount of effort that goes into free climbing a route on El Cap, as making the experience in the end that much richer.

– Tommy Caldwell

Want more climbing content? Get our awesome climbing newsletter, delivered weekly.


Explore more