From the very first days, Yosemite has long been the premier place climbers to prove their worth. Whether free climbing on El Capitan or bouldering in any one of the fields around the Valley the heart of climbing beats in Yosemite like in no other place in the world. In this months issue of Climbing Tommy Caldwell recounts his epic free climb of one of Yosemite’s toughest climbs, The Dihedral Wall.
“I was never able to link this pitch on toprope, but I was hoping that the psych of the redpoint attempt would help me. I was pretty sure that this would be the hardest free pitch on El Cap, and I knew I would have to climb flawlessly to do it. Remembering to breath, remembering the sequence — and most of all remembering to try hard as hell — were all things I needed to do to get to the belay. I gave Beth a kiss and set off.
I started laybacking up a one-foot-wide dihedral with no crack in the back. With few footholds on the smooth granite, I was only able to stay on the wall by pinching the outside corner of the dihedral and pressing my feet hard against the wall, testing my shoe rubber to the max. I felt strain in my back, fingers, and neck, and just as the rock got steeper the seam opened up enough for fingers. With no footholds in sight I had to continue climbing without pause.”