Yosemite climbers make final push in El Capitan free climb

Yosemite climbers make final push as they reach end of journey in El Capitan free climb

Two men are pushing on to be the first free climbers to scale the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park.

Kevin Jorgeson, 30, of Santa Rosa was just two pitches – or two climbing sections -- away from his partner Tommy Caldwell, who is at Wino Tower. Once Jorgeson reaches that point, Caldwell, 36, said they will “make a mad dash to the summit.”



12:54 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Tommy Caldwell is at Whino Towers; he is at Wino Tower.


Using only ropes, their feet and fingers, the climbers have been dangling from the 3,000-foot-section of El Capitan for nearly 17 days. If successful, the pair would be the first climbers since 1970 to use ropes only as protection against a fall, and not to climb.

The pair have been documenting their journey through social media, posting photographs and updates as they make their push to the summit of the sheer granite monolith.

Sunday was the last rest day for Caldwell and Jorgeson, who trained for five years.

They planned to fuel up “for what will hopefully be the end of this journey,” Caldwell said on Instagram.

Years ago, the climbers traversed the same section and battled wide cracks and dirty areas.

The pair aren’t the first to attempt the climb, though they would be the first, should they succeed, to make the climb in their manner.

In 1970, Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell of Estes Park, Colo., used ropes to climb the Dawn Wall for more than 27 days.

Now, Jorgeson said momentum is needed to finish the climb along the wall, a steep section of mountain.

“Momentum is a powerful force,” he said on Facebook. “When it's on your side, everything feels a bit easier. When it's not on your side, it feels like wading through mud.”

Jorgeson said his momentum was struck at Pitch 15 for seven days, but he plans to stay focused and determined because the journey has not ended.

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