Climbers Set Speed Record on El Capitan's Most Dangerous Ascent—the Nose

Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Forgoing food, water, and most standard safety equipment, two climbers broke the speed record for ascending one of the most dangerous parts of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park—the Nose.

As first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds climbed the 2,900-foot face in 2 hours and 19 minutes last Saturday, breaking the previous record, set in 2012, by four minutes. Climbers typically take up to three days to scale the same section.

Gobright told the Chronicle that in order to reach the summit as fast as possible, he and Reynolds pared down their suppies. They did not use cramming devices—essential in preventing falls. On the final stretch, they climbed side-by-side, rather than the usual (and safer) method of letting one climber lead.

“The big thing that Jim and I were worried about was that to some extent you have to kind of put safety behind you when you’re trying to move that fast,” Gobright said.

Ten days before their successful attempt, another climber named Quinn Brett fell more than 100 feet while attempting to ascend the Nose in a single day. Brett survived, but will likely suffer from paralysis.