Libby Sauter, 31, and Alix Morris, 25, have made the first female one-day ascent of Salathe Wall.
Sauter and Morris started out 6 a.m. and made it to the top just after midnight, completing the wall in 18.5 hours.
Morris, who is based in Yosemite Village had climbed the route before and led the first 19 pitches in just under eight hours. Sauter, who had a bad cold all day, had never been on the route and led the upper aid pitches.
“My best advice for climbing fast on El Cap is to tie in with crushers,” Sauter wrote on Instagram. “Alix Morris blasted us up the first 19 pitches of the Salathe Wall in a flash yesterday and then kept the stoke high through the night for my block.”
Sauter and Morris have both worked with Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR). Sauter is not stranger to climbing fast up El Cap as she holds the women’s speed record with Mayan Smith-Gobat for The Nose of four hours and 43 mintues.
A few days after the ascent Sauter wrote on Facebook, “My first weekend as a weekend warrior! My first time up the Salathe! My first time taking a cam to the face and whipping in the dark. And the first all female Salathe in a day.”
The first ascent of Salathe Wall was in 1961 by Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, Chuck Pratt and took six days. The wall is named in honour John Salathé, an early Yosemite climber.
Cheyne Lempe had rappelled in to take photos of Sauter and Morris. Lempe is an accomplished big wall soloist who has also worked with YOSAR. Watch this short film of Lempe’s record breaking solo ascent of Salathe Wall.