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All-Round Crusher Brette Harrington Sends El Corazon 5.13b on El Capitan

The huge route was first climbed 20 years ago and is considered a classic in the world of Yosemite big wall free climbing

Brette Harrington has redpointed her El Capitan project with a tick of the 31-pitch El Corazon 5.13b. Harrington climbed with Elliott Bernhagen, who nearly sent the full route.

Harrington and Bernhagen dealt with changing weather for their mid-November climb. Harrington said, “On day eight, our hanging tent nearly sank in a torrential rainstorm. We bailed water out with the jet boil cup all night, then spent the next day and a half drying out.”

El Corazon is a combination of Salathé, Albatross, Son of Heart and Heart Route plus new variations by Huber and Reichel. Besides placing some new bolts on belay stations, no single bolt was placed. It was first climbed in 2001 by Alex Huber and Max Reichel over six days of aid climbing. Huber and Reichel returned and Huber made the first free ascent at 5.13b. The second free ascent was by Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden in 2007, and has since been sent by many others including Will Stanhope and Brad Gobright.

Harrington is known for her bold alpine free-solos and new routes. In the Rockies, she’s established a number of hard routes in the past few years, such as Aurorophobia 5.13+ in the Wiaparous River Valley with Marc-André Leclerc, Life Compass IV 5.10 M4+ on Mount Blane with Rose Pearson, Just a Nibble M6R 5.10 WI5 14p on Mount Niblock with Dylan Cunningham, The Sound of Silence VI M8 WI5 on Mount Fay with Ines Papert and Luka Lindic, and The Hammer and the Dance VI 5.11X on Neptuak with Tony McLane. She’s also known for opening bold new ski lines, including Gold Card Couloir.

Venturi Effect

Watch Harrington and the late Marc-Andre Leclerc climb the famous Venturi Effect 5.12 on the Incredible Hulk in California in 2015.

El Corazon

In the spring of 2016, Greg and Mike Kerzhner set off on a four-day push  to free El Corazon. On their last day, Tara Kerzhner rapped down to shoot photos, and captured some clips during their send.