How many people get up El Cap on their first attempt?


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Big Wall climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 01:05pm PT
I got up on my first try on El Cap, via the Nose route. It was also my first big wall and we did it during a 4 day weather window in late winter. To be exact, it was late February 2002, and we were up on the wall when the great Warren Harding passed away. My partner and I were the only people on the entire Big Stone (that we could see or hear) - washed clean by the winter rains. I can't say I felt the presence of the man himself (I didn't find out about it until we got down), but lets just say it was epic. Mad props to Mark V. for coaching, cajoling, and cursing me to the summit!
Horsein' Around. Winter ascent of the Nose, Feb 2002.
Horsein' Around. Winter ascent of the Nose, Feb 2002.
Credit: VW
The air up there. Winter ascent of the Nose, Feb. 2002.
The air up there. Winter ascent of the Nose, Feb. 2002.
Credit: VW
Bill Sherman

Mountain climber
Culver City, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 01:33pm PT
I am 2 for 2 on El Cap. The first route I tried was Zodiac. I thought I was going to have to bail on it after the first pitch. I was linking 1 and 2 and took about a 12' fall back down onto the ledge at the bottom of 2. I had just had my leg crushed by a 2000 lb rock 9 weeks prior while attempting Castle Rock Spire in Sequoia. After 20 minutes of sitting on the ledge I got back into the aiders and worked through the pain until it disappeared. We spent 5 days on the route.

This past summer I went up with the same partner as on Zodiac. We had a 3rd that slowed us down and would have probably kept us from completing the route had he continued. He bailed from Sickle and we kept going. It took us a total of 5 days on the Nose as well. I am glad I got my partner up there as he had failed on 3 prior attempts on The Nose.

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
I'm surprised by how many get it on first go! Maybe were getting a skewed sample though.

Big Wall climber
Huntington Beach, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:20pm PT
First time two years ago, but I only led one easy pitch at the bottom below sickle ledge and cleaned the rest. Does that count?
Janet Wilts

Trad climber
Grand Teton National Park
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:09pm PT
2 for 2
The Nose with Tony Puppo
Lurking Fear with Dan McDivittttt

so many years ago I can't remember....


Big Wall climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:47pm PT
first try the nose for me..

but more importantly, the most impressive first time on el cap, without a doubt was a guy i climbed with in the valley a few years back andrew 'mcdermott'? soloed the nose in 18 hrs on his very first time on the big stone! what a hero

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 14, 2012 - 05:40pm PT
Climbed it on our first try, Nose Route, at age 19 in 1978 with Tim Leech (a Brit). Took us 3 1/2 days, rained all night at our bivvy below the great roof, with all our ropes fixed above us.
rodrigo MUJICA

Mountain climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 06:19pm PT
The Nose, first try...but many night on the wall...3?
rodrigo MUJICA

Mountain climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
the nose first try
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
Boche and I on the Nose 1st try in 1967 in the rain - 7 very wet days. Hennek and I on 1st try on the Dihedral also in 1967. Hennek and I went up 8 pitches on the NA Wall in April of 1968, but Hennek hurt his back in a fall when a bolt pulled, so we bailed and came back later that year in September to do the 2nd ascent.

I hesitate to mention that Royal and I succeeded on first try in January 1971 on the Dawn Wall.
I hesitate because as Chouinard once told me, "Climbing with Robbins is cheating- you know you're going to make it."
Janet Wilts

Trad climber
Grand Teton National Park
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:06pm PT
Nawwww, it counts.....after all he was with you.......
Chris Gibson

Trad climber
Frisco, Texas
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:44pm PT
This is a great thread!!
Bad Climber

Nov 14, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
Climbed it only once but got up first try: West Face in 1980 when I was 18. That was after doing Liberty Crack route on Liberty Bell--a Grade V.

Ammon and Gabe's Mom

Lake Arrowhead, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 10:00pm PT
Ammon did it. Solo and never climbed a big wall before. He had only climbed very short walls. Probably not more than 300 feet. He climbed the nose. This was several years ago.
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 14, 2012 - 10:22pm PT
Nice Don. Hi Dennis: bolts have no personal affiliations; if they pull it is your own damn fault or an act of god. I'd go with the god bit.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 14, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
Hey Ammon's mom,

Ammon soloed NA Wall, not the Nose, as his first ever El Cap route. Chongo taught Ammon everything he knows. ;)

How's Ammon's leg doing? Those X-rays were pretty scary looking!

[Don and Dennis who?] ;)

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
I think it was 81

The Nose with Mark Grant.
fixed to Sickle, two bivies.
No hauling and used a single 100 Meter 9mm, linking as much as we could.
I lead the Stove legs as one pitch.
Could have been off the second night but we had one of our two headlamps burn out so we stayed at C-6 and topped early on the third morning.

At the end of the first day I was leading (a pitch or two under C-4) and we had at least half a dozen base jumpers go by.

Once we decided not to press on from C-6 on the second day, we fixed the next pitch and top roped it a few times.

The second night was much warmer for us. we only brought sweaters, wind breakers and beanies. However the second night we got to sleep between two plumb, Brits that had packed much acoutremon including big fluffy down bags.
Credit: Mark Grant
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:48am PT
The town drunk is never good with last names...
Myles Moser

Lone Pine, Ca
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:50am PT
That rock is too big!

Big Wall climber
Nov 16, 2012 - 02:39am PT
May 1973
Triple direct
First mexican party.
JuanGabriel Nieo
Pedro DiazJimenez ( me)
First attemp.
Messages 141 - 160 of total 185 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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