Adam Ondra Makes 2nd Free Ascent of the World’s Hardest Big Wall
On November 24, 2016, in Yosemite National Park, world-champion sport climber Adam Ondra topped out on the route known as the Dawn Wall, located on the iconic granite formation El Capitan. The climb is believed to be the toughest on the planet due to its length (3,000 vertical feet) and difficulty (5.14d). It is only the second time the Dawn Wall has been successfully climbed. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made the first ascent in January 2015, a grueling effort that took multiple seasons over a span of 7 years to finally come together. Their final push, which received an unprecedented amount of media coverage, not to mention a congratulations from President Obama, took 19 days. Ondra negotiated the 32 pitches in just under 8 days. While the increase in speed is typical between a first and second ascent, it's worth noting that Ondra led all 32 pitches, becoming the first person to fully free-climb the Dawn Wall. Jorgeson and Caldwell were switching off each pitch, or what's known as swinging leads, so each effectively only climbed half the route.
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