Pair complete El Capitan free climb


Two rock climbers, including a Santa Rosa native, made it to the summit of 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park Wednesday afternoon after a weeks-long climb, a park spokeswoman said.

Kevin Jorgeson, 30, of Santa Rosa, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, of Estes Park, Colorado, reached the summit sometime after 3 p.m. with Caldwell reaching it first and Jorgeson following a short time later, Yosemite spokeswoman Ashley Mayer said.

The two rock climbers, who began their ascent Dec. 27, plan to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday in the meadow below El Capitan to discuss their climb, Mayer said.

Jorgeson and Caldwell began the ascent of 3,000-foot-high El Capitan on Dec. 27. They have become the first to “free climb” the Dawn Wall on the world’s largest granite monolith using ropes and pins only for safety.

The pair has been eating and resting in portaledges — tents on ledges of the rock edifice — and their endeavor has attracted the attention of media from around the world. Jorgeson and Caldwell have been posting updates of their exploits on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

On Twitter, after he finished one of the most difficult “pitches” of the climb, Jorgeson wrote that the climb is not an effort to conquer the Dawn Wall but about realizing a dream:

The weather in Yosemite Valley has been mild with daytime temperatures near 60 degrees and in the low and mid 30s at night.

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