Tommy Caldwell Free Climbs The Nose and Freerider-in-a-day


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Social climber
Nov 7, 2005 - 12:13pm PT
This is an incredible example of endurance and technical ability!

I feel like we were all just Wilbur and Orville Wright that afternoon back in the seventies when we wandered up to the terraces without our aid slings. Some of us may have had higher aspirations but for myself we were just goofing off in the playground. To witness this evolution is cool let’s call like it really is, 22 hours of multiple organisms!

TC et al, my hats off to you!
Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 7, 2005 - 10:14pm PT
Hello, it that you Mike?

Welcome to ST land.

All the best, Roger

Social climber
Nov 8, 2005 - 09:11am PT
Roger, how you doing?

People still ask me about our little Phantom pinnacle route. (Mostly want to know where the hell it is!) good memory! Still see Bridwell quite often.

This is all so amazing isn’t it. I understand you can even top rope the Captain, by yourself if you feel so inclined. You got to admit that’s pretty cool. If you’re in to that sort of thing. I think would be...

Thanks for the note, I enjoy those “Freeblasts” from the past!


Trad climber
Nov 8, 2005 - 10:38am PT
Gramicci? As in Mike Graham?



I've been wondering if you would ever surface here! If it's REALLY you, I'm stoked!

Welcome to the Deli. . . errrr, I mean TheTaco!

Kathy (used to be Brockman, back in the dirt. . . errr. . . I mean "TheDay.") - MissusBlinny

Nov 8, 2005 - 10:59pm PT
I'm stunned. Can't fathom what he just accomplished. I called my climbing partner and he insisted it had to be a hoax. Been trying to find the words and examples to explain to my wife just how amazing an accomplishment this is and I'm failing miserably.


Social climber
Nov 8, 2005 - 11:44pm PT
Kathy, Thanks for remembering! It is I

I really love where this site has gone, its better than the news channel. The stuff these young lads are doing these days is amazing. I’ll stay tuned.

Looks like you live in a beautiful area, with a lot of cool guitars. Dog’s country by the look of the photo.

All the best!
Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 8, 2005 - 11:57pm PT
Hi Mike:

Good to hear from you. The whole El Cap free is pretty unreal to me, much less the Nose and Salathe in a day. (Obviously, Chris and Beth are light for having to swing seconding:-)

When Lynn Hill climbed the Nose, she came to Cleveland--the center of the climbing world, as you well know--with the touring slide show. I took my daughters who were about 10 and 12 years old. As she was describing the preparations, I was taken aback by the whole idea of rapping down to work on the hard pitches, wiring the route. I didn't have a problem with it. I was just surprised at the effort, and surprised that she was treating the Captain the way Ray used to treated short crack climbs.

I knew it was a different world.

It is sort of strange to see so much change in such a short time. I sort of accept changes in technology as a given, but this is just improved skill.

Speaking of skill, I still think that your on sight leads of Phantom pinnacle were stellar. We climbed lucky, being able to pick off such a nice crack system. Of course if you hadn't been our rope gun, it would have taken me all season. I wrote up our ascent a while back:

ST can be a real trip staying up on the current news, meeting the new climbers, and dipping into old memories. Glad you are here.

Hope all is well with you, Roger

Trad climber
Nov 9, 2005 - 01:36pm PT

Thanks for remembering me, too!

My time in the dirt with you guys was the most amazing time of my life! Through some cosmic twist of fate my life collided with you guys and I was forever changed. . . for the better. I kind of liken it to dumb girl gets to run with the big dogs! (Speaking of Dog's country)


Yeah. . . it's beautiful up here. . . and Blanchard's guitars are a never ending source of enlightenment. If you ever head this way, we'd love to show you around!

Keep the MAGIC alive!

Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Jul 19, 2010 - 01:42pm PT
No reply, but I want to get Tommy Caldwell's email address. Thanks.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 19, 2010 - 02:02pm PT
mg: 22 hours of multiple organisms
Hopefully sometime Mike will explain that one. :-)

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jul 20, 2010 - 12:06am PT

Welcome to the campfire, Royal.
Tell us a story, please!!!!

Might want to check with Black Diamond, or Chris Mac.
I'm sure they both have it.

Social climber
Oct 22, 2014 - 08:38pm PT
Remember this you guys?

Oct 22, 2014 - 10:26pm PT
Stewart Johnson

lake forest
Oct 23, 2014 - 07:18am PT

Trad climber
Oct 23, 2014 - 08:45am PT
bump for likely the most impressive free-climbing achievement ever

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Apr 10, 2015 - 11:24am PT
Wow bump

Oakland, CA
Apr 10, 2015 - 11:35am PT
Man oh man. How about Chris' last question in his opening post? Guess we have our answer after the Dawn Wall.

I didn't realize that Caldwell free'd the Dihedral Wall on his first go.

Below us, we watched Dean Potter speed up the route five pitches below us. He was going for a one-day free ascent of The Salathé Wall. Over on The Nose, Thomas Huber was making a multi-day free attempt with four support crew (Ivo, Ammon, and some buddies doing their first big wall). At that moment, there were four parties on El Cap, three of which were making free ascents. Seems that these days you are noteworthy if you are the ones NOT making a free ascent of El Cap!

Wonder which pitch shut TH down on the Nose? Roof, or did he make it to the Changing Corners?

And did Potter get the Salathe IAD?
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