American Libby Sauter and New Zealander Mayan Smith-Gobat have climbed their way to a new female speed record. They might head back up on Friday for another attempt.
The pair knocked off 34 minutes from the old record and now stands at 5:02, despite some setbacks.
According to Tom Evans, whose website El Cap Report highlights the El Cap action of the day, ” Libby dropped an aider from th Boot, which hindered her a bit, especially on the last pitch. They changed blocks after that, so each lead half of the climb.”
Evans followed them up the crowded route as they passed climbers. He noted, “They have a different way to do the King Swing, where Mayan does it and climbs high into the Grey Bands before Libby jugs off the Boot.”
Higher on the climb, “Mayan fixed Libby to the corner of the Great Roof. A long loop of rope ran out to Mayan, from that belay. One just can’t afford to fall on this kind of climbing.” Evans said that on the last pitch, Libby got caught against a bolt and had problems escaping the biner, due to rope tension. “Still they made a fine and bold ascent and can be proud of their effort. They may go again Friday as they want to lower the time into the four-hour range.