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Rock Climbers are Currently Attempting the Famous Dawn Wall

The 32-pitch 5.14 has only been free-climbed by three climbers: Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson and Adam Ondra

The Dawn Wall is one of the most famous and difficult big wall routes in the world. It climbs the sweeping southeast face of El Capitan in Yosemite, a nearly 1,000-metre granite wall. It’s graded 5.14d and climbs 32 pitches.

The first ascent was by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson in January 2015 over weeks of redpointing the pitches without leaving the wall. It’s only been repeated by Adam Ondra over eight days in November 2016.

The film Dawn Wall is one of the best climbing movies of the past decade, documenting the struggles of big wall free climbing. Caldwell famously completed the 5.14d pitch-15 traverse, but Jorgeson kept falling, for days. Caldwell waits and waits and until Jorgeson sends and they top out to international media attention.

Now in January 2022, Siebe Vanhee and Seb Berthe are going for it, and will be staying in Yosemite for however long it takes, according to Yosemite climber Chris Van Leuven who lent them some hardware for the climb.

Both have plenty of Yosemite experience. Vanhee climbed the 35-pitch El Corazon 5.13b over four days in 2017 with Nico Favresse. And Berthe is the only climber to free The Nose 5.14 ground up.

The Dawn Wall

The Dawn Wall stacked with hard pitches, here’s the breakdown: 12b, 13a, 13c, 12b, 12d, 13c, 14a, 13d, 13c, 14a, 13c, 14b, 13b, 14d, 14d, 14c, 14a, 13c, 13c, 13c, 13c, 12c, 9, 11, 11, 11d, 11c, 12c, 12b, 13a, 12a, 12b. Celebrate.

Screenshot of Vanhee’s Instagram story on Jan. 10
Screenshot of Vanhee's Instagram story on Jan. 10
Screenshot of Vanhee’s Instagram story on Jan. 10
Screenshot of Vanhee’s Instagram story on Jan. 10