Tommy Caldwell on the Dawn Wall
The Shot: Tommy Caldwell climbing his variation of the Loop Pitch (5.14a) — pitch 16 — on the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, January 2015.
The Photographer: Corey Rich
The Full Story: The Dawn Wall (VI 5.14d), 3,000 feet of sheer granite, is considered the longest, hardest free climb in the world. On January 14, 2015, after 19 days on the wall, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the historic first ascent. The project was seven years in the making for Caldwell, and five for Caldwell and Jorgeson as a climbing team, having made their first attempt together in 2010. Corey Rich snapped this shot in the dark, as the duo often climbed in the cool of night because their hands sweated less and their shoes were grippier on the rock.