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


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Trad climber
Nov 7, 2012 - 09:56pm PT
But seriously....I have tried 3 times, 2 on washington column (south face, the prow) and 1 on el cap (the shield) and think I may just keep it to single day multi-pitch climbs from now on!
Captain...or Skully

Nov 7, 2012 - 10:03pm PT
Many folks find that it's NOT their way. Sometimes they discover this when they're with you. Sometimes Fate has other plans for you.
Sometimes. Other times, it all clicks.

Nov 7, 2012 - 10:06pm PT
im 1 for 1. but i had a ringer. it was an interesting experience. i found out the day before that the wife was prego, so that def got in my head. she pulled erik aside and told him not let me puss out.. hahaha. it was july and over 100 degrees and i was miserable and cramping like mad.

erik didnt let met quit, and while i deferred leads on the top half, we did make it. need to get a 'cleaner' ascent.

Boulder, CO
Nov 7, 2012 - 10:08pm PT
Lurking Fear first try.


Nov 7, 2012 - 10:15pm PT
Bill did the Nose, first try.

Me, three tries later and still no results beyond being once hauled up like a sack of potatoes. Yeah... I suck.
gonzo chemist

Fort Collins, CO
Nov 7, 2012 - 10:18pm PT
My friend Kia soloed Mescalito for his first El Cap wall.

here's his video TR. Its awesome!


Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 8, 2012 - 12:56am PT
I sent 1st try.

We did the 3D as our 2nd wall, two days after WFLT.

Think I'm going on 11-12 sends since my lat bail.
Jimmy Russells

Nov 8, 2012 - 01:11am PT
Iron Hawk first try. Had a ringer. You all know him.

Nov 8, 2012 - 01:26am PT
My first try on the captain was an early send of the Majic Mushroom 1984, Wow that was 29 years ago. My last time on the big stone was in 2001 on Lost World a small Epic and slow team and the anus looked pretty wet and dark, this was my only big wall failure. I turn 50
this August and would like to finish on top with maybe one last send.

Andrew Barnes

Ice climber
Albany, NY
Nov 8, 2012 - 02:27am PT
Kristoffer Wickstrom, soloed South Seas to the Pacific Ocean Wall as his first El Cap route a few years ago. Some of these ascents fly under the radar, because the climbers don't do any self promotion.

I climbed a bit with Kris a couple of years before his solo (we did WFLT), and I immediately knew that he was a tough dude. A year or two later we made a trip to Red Rocks to do the Rainbow Wall. It had snowed a lot, and I bailed on the approach itself. Kris stayed on by himself, to do the
Aeolian wall. I looked at the frozen wall, north facing, bitterly cold, infrequently traveled - I thought, this kid is nuts to try this solo, in such terrible conditions. He got up high on the wall, a storm dumped on him like crazy, he had to bail, but he survived. Next I heard from him, he had soloed Lunar Ecstasy at Zion. The next thing was his solo of SS->PO on El Cap. I know I'm embarrassing him by talking here about his exploits (he has posted on this forum before) - but he is not going to blow his own trumpet, so I'm blowing it for him.

Nov 8, 2012 - 02:35am PT
1 for 1 here, solo. After I got up Yosemite Falls, the rest was real easy.

Nov 8, 2012 - 02:40am PT
1st try, bail on the Nose due to tendinitis of the knee. 2nd try the Nose, 2 months later, success. Plans for Salathé, but scrapped due to serious congestion on the route. Did Free Blast instead, and nearly got killed due to rockfall from an aid party hauling a bag up the Half Dollar. Did the West Face. Made a weak attempt at Zodiac, bailed on the first pitch, due to stupid lawn chair ledge idea. I think Walt S. promoted that idea to us. That wasn't the only silly thing he convinced me to try, hah, hah.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Nov 8, 2012 - 03:13am PT
Hey mcreel- "Plans for Salathé, but scrapped due to serious congestion on the route. Did Free Blast instead, and nearly got killed due to rockfall from an aid party hauling a bag up the Half Dollar. "

Was this recently???

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Nov 8, 2012 - 08:06am PT
I've done most of the harder El Cap routes on sight ...Of course having Paul Ryan as rope gun might have had something to do with it...
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Nov 8, 2012 - 09:41am PT
West face, on sight, all free with HB in 1984...
such a good experience..
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Nov 8, 2012 - 09:45am PT
My first El Cap attempt was also my first wall, Zodiac, in 1990. It was the last El Cap route to date for my partners, Larry Zulim and Sheldon Wilcox.

Did it IAD with Kristoffer Wickstrom (upthread)and Scott Lappin last May for my third time on that route IAD, so far.
The Alpine

Nov 8, 2012 - 10:00am PT
Everybody's sending 'round here!

First try here as well. I never knew the bittersweet taste of bailure 'til I headed into the mountains...
Jane Gallwey

Big Wall climber
Nov 8, 2012 - 10:13am PT
1st try 2010 - Triple Direct, bailed from the grey ledges, parner bashed his leg up a bit
2nd try 2011 - LF solo

Even though it was only 2 years it felt like I'd been wanting to climb El Cap forever - sitting on top on my own (even if I'd only done the easiest possible route) was pretty damn neat.

My twin brother's laundry room
Nov 8, 2012 - 10:16am PT
first try zodiac in a day.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Nov 8, 2012 - 10:57am PT
I know a kid that got up Muir wall on his first try. Led something like 26 pitches too... Too bad he's not talking about it....
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