Muir Wall, El Capitan A2 5.9
Avg time to climb route: 5 days
Approach time: 15 minutes
Descent time: 4 hours
Number of pitches: 33
Height of route: 2900'
OverviewThe Muir Wall is one of El Cap's greatest natural lines, second only to the Salathé. It boasts large clean corners from the ground to summit with moderate yet sustained climbing. This route is substantially more involved than the Nose or Salathé but technically easier than the Shield or Zodiac.
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HistoryFirst Free Ascent History
In June 1994, Kurt Smith and Scott Cosgrove managed to free 99% of the Muir Wall. They established free variations from the Muir into the into the Shield via new terrain they called The Shaft. On their final push, the team spent 10 days climbing. They pinkpointed and redpointed every pitch up to P32 (located on the Shield) where they were thwarted by an A2 pitch. When the team topped out they were cited by rangers for illegal use of a power drill.
In May 2001, Tommy Caldwell and Nick Sagar freed by either leading or following every pitch of the Muir/Shaft/Sheild variation at 5.13c. Some pitches had pre placed gear, and the route was done in two pushes, the lower half and then upper half.
In May 2007, Rob Miller and Justen Sjong established a five pitch variation to the Muir/Shaft/Shield, adding a 5.13d crux pitch in the process. Their variation climbs some of the Shaft pitches but traverses back into the Muir to avoid loose blocks. Their route then climbs the crux stemming corner, 5.13d, climbs into Turning Point, rejoins the Shaft and finishes on the Shield. The climb was completed over seven days after two and a half years of work.
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