2 free climbers reach peak of Yosemite’s El Capitan in historic challenge

Screenshot from YouTube user REEL ROCK
Two American world-class rock climbers have become the first to free-climb the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

Tommy Caldwell, a 36-year-old from Colorado, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, from Santa Rosa, reached the summit of the Sierra Nevada monolith to the cheers of relatives and friends assembled at the peak of the rock to watch their historic climb that finished just after 6:00 p.m. EST.

The challenge to scale the zenith first began on December 27. Inch by inch, they ascended the vertical slope of El Capitan. The duo camped in tents suspended from the rock with provisions brought to them on ropes. The men – who climbed in the late afternoon and at night to avoid the slippery surface of the rock in warm weather – used headlamps to illuminate their path. They were under the constant watch of reporters who hoped to capture their endeavors for a documentary.

Free climbing – using one's hands and feet to ascend a rock's natural features – is considered to be one of world's most dangerous sports. Employing ropes and other gear is only allowed to stop a fall.

The two adventurers are scheduled to address the press in the valley on Thursday morning. For now, the duo has asked for privacy to celebrate in style.