This morning, Alex Honnold and Diablo Rock Gym Manager, Hans Florine set a new speed record for the Nose of El Capitan. The 3,000 foot vertical granite cliff has been the home of the Grand Prix of Yosemite speed climbing. The pair started at 6:30 a.m. and topped out just before 9 a.m., setting a new record of 2:23:51. This is 8% faster than the previous record held by Dean Potter and Sean Leary.
Florine has been a long time contender for the Nose speed record. Florine has owned the fastest times on the route with Steve Schneider, Yuji Hirayami, and others.
Honnold reached the great roof in 1 hour 25 minutes. While this is 2/3 of the way up the route in distance, for most people, it is half way in terms of time. From Camp 6, to the top of the formation took under half an hour. Just imagine, while most people were sleeping, these guys climbed one of America’s biggest walls.
Florine and Honnold ran two practice runs last week. On their second run, they came within a few minutes of the record. Bill Wright reported on the event.
They took 5 extra draws, 5 biners, and one extra #1 Camalot (they now carry two of them) so that Hans can lead from the ground to Eagle Ledge (17-18 guidebook pitches) without re-gearing at all! He said that is the longest pitch he’s ever led. It took him 1h21m.
They started at 7:09 a.m. and passed four parties with no problems, including a f…fast IAD team on Dolt, which they arrived on in 50 minutes.
This time Hans took 18 minutes to get to Sickle, so two minutes slower than yesterday, which was a better pace and had him finish his total block 4 minutes faster.
Hans did get the rope stuck in the Grey Band and had to downclimb 20 feet to fix it. Whenever the rope comes tight on Alex, he says the same thing to Hans, “Just take me off belay!” He has told Hans to never belay him and to just climb, but Hans won’t do it.
On Sunday they will leave behind the #2 Camalot (actually it was a similar-sized Link Cam). That means their entire rack at and above a #1 Camalot size consists of:
2 #1 Camalots
1 #3 Camalots
Wow… But these are not your average climbers…
Hans, ever the confident one, is sure they will break the record on Sunday. I asked him what the difference will be with today, since gave it a serious effort. He responded, “72 hours of rest.”
More photos of the pair climbing can be found on the El Cap Report. Florine and Honnold are certainly basking in the sunny meadow right now. Congratulations to them both!