Speed Reads


Climbers break speed record on El Capitan, just days after setting it

Over the span of just a few days, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell set a record for fastest climb up the Nose route of El Capitan, then broke that record, then broke that record.

On Wednesday, Honnold, 32, and Caldwell, 39, were able to scale up the Yosemite National Park rock formation in just 1 hour, 58 minutes, and seven seconds. On May 30, they had set a new record of 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 15 seconds, and on Monday, shaved off even more time, climbing it in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 53 seconds. Honnold told The Associated Press he was astonished when he realized they were about to set another record on Wednesday, and said he was "pretty proud we saw it through."

El Capitan has 54 routes, and it often takes accomplished climbers about four to five days to go up the Nose route. It's a "very complicated route," Daniel Duane, author of El Capitan: Historic Feats and Radical Routes, told AP. "It meanders all over the place and it has pendulum swings and bolt ladders and there are little variations where you can go this way and instead of that way, so there's a ton of trickery involved in shaving off time."