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Amity Warme Becomes Fifth Woman to Free El Capitan in a Day

Lynn Hill was the first woman to free El Cap in the early 1990s and then became the first person to free the 900-metre wall in a day

On April 10, Brent Barghahn and Amity Warme started up El Capitan just after midnight and then climbed to the top of the 32-pitch Freerider 5.13a in 18 hours and 16 minutes.

They simul-climbed 24 of the 32 pitches, only falling a few times. In 2021, Warme freed the 36-pitch Golden Gate 5.13b over five days and freed Freerider ground-up over several days.

On his blog, Barghahn goes into great detail about their preparation, gear list and includes a marked up topo. Barghahn talks about their unsupported ascent: “all supplies for the ascent are carried on route by the climbers themselves. No pre-stashing or dumping of gear.”

About the climb, Warme said, Going into our FRIAD mission, I was far from confident in my ability to send. I knew Brent had a high chance of sending and I knew I was capable of getting to the top, but freeing the whole line in a day felt daunting. I was so intimidated that my main goal was to not mess anything up badly enough that we had to bail! ⁣

I was a bit tense but climbed well through my first lead block to Heart Ledges. Then Brent took over the lead through to the Boulder Problem. I used so much energy in the Monster offwidth that I honestly thought my day was over. We hadn’t even touched the cruxes and I already felt spent! But I kept going, one move at a time. When we arrived at the Enduro Corners, we were both battling fatigue and cramps. Brent powered through the first of the corners, and I followed cleanly. Barely. It felt like there was no chance I could lead the second, more challenging corner but I started up anyway. I was depleted. Every move felt desperate. But I knew this was a make or break moment – if I fell, I wouldn’t have to energy to try again. So I fought. With Brent cheering from below and Jonathan Adam Guy rooting from above, I sent the pitch and our dream was still alive.

I felt close to the breaking point several times throughout this objective. I was riding the fine line between ‘success’ and ‘failure.’ It took impeccable teamwork, communication, Brent’s logistical prowess, and our ability to dig deep physically and mentally for both of us to send the unstashed, unrehearsed Freerider in a day. ⁣

Warme has amassed an impressive Yosemite tick-list over the past year, including Golden Gate 5.13a 36 pitches ground-up, Freerider 5.13a 31 pitches (twice), NIAD at 11:45, The Niels Tietze Memorial Route AKA The Nexus 5.13a/b 9 pitches, The Final Frontier 5.13a/b 9 pitches, The Dream Team 5.13a 10 pitches, Scarface Free 5.12 9 pitches, Wayward Son 5.12 14 pitches and The Crucifix 5.12 5 pitches.

With the ascent, Warme became the fifth woman to free El Cap in a day. Lynn Hill freed The Nose in a day in 1994, then Steph Davis climbed Freerider in 22 hours and 15 minutes in 2004. Then in 2011, Mayan Smith-Gobat climbed Freerider in 14 hours and 10 minutes. In 2020, Emily Harrington sent Golden Gate in 21 hours and 13 minutes.