Alex Honnold and Hans Florine will make an attempt at the record for climbing The Nose, one of the original technical climbing routes up El Capitan, the famed rock formation in Yosemite National Park, on June 17.
According to a report from Climbing, Honnold and Florine will try to break the current record held by Sean Leary and Dean Potter, which was set in November of 2010. Their time: 2 hours, 36 minutes, and 45 seconds (only 20 seconds faster than the previous record, which was held by Florine and Yuji Hirayama in October of 2008.)
El Cap used to be considered an impossible climb, but has now become one of the most sought after rocks in America, if not the most iconic. The rock formation was recognized in the well-known climbing book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. The formation has two main faces, the Southeast and the Southwest, and The Nose is a massive prow that juts out where the two faces come together. It is the most storied route on El Capitan.
Honnold is known worldwide as the most daring free climber, which means that he scales massive walls without the safety of a rope. His free-soloing stunts have been profiled recently in 60 Minutes and in National Geographic. In the latter, he climbs Moonlight Buttress, a 1,200 foot rock face in Zion, Utah. It’s a difficult climb by Alpinists standards (a Grade V, 5.12c); for at least 700 feet of the ascent, he could only lock the tips of his fingers into a vertical crack running up the rock’s face.
Florine is a well-know speed climber, who’s held about a dozen speed or solo records over his career. In May, Florine and fellow climber Bill Wright ascended 100 pitches in a single day, or about 10,000 vertical feet, in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado. That expedition was chronicled in here in Climbing.