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Success on Atlantis, a Yosemite A4 Big Wall

Oliver Tippett has climbed three El Capitan A4 routes in the past month and is currently on an A5

Oliver Tippett and Paul Gagner have made the third ascent of the big wall aid route Atlantis, which is graded VI 5.9 A4, on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. It took them eight days and seven nights.

The first ascent of Atlantis was in 2005 by David Turner, who wrote in the American Alpine Journal, “Two-thirds of the way up the wall, I came upon possibly the last major ledge on El Cap that had never been touched. This feature, Bobo Ledge, gave me somewhere to stand and sit other than my portaledge, after 13 days in aiders.” Read his full story here.

The second ascent was in 2022 by Canadians Pete Zabrok and Tom Canac, with Zabrok saying, “At least Atlantis has a short approach, and the name isn’t scary, either.” Read more about their climb here. Zabrok is one of the most successful El Capitan climbers to date, with over 60 ascent. If you’re new to aid climbing grades, they start at A0 and go up to A5, with A4 being considered very difficult with big scary fall potential.

Before climbing Atlantis, Tippett soloed Zenyatta Mondatta VI A4, and since climbing Atlantis he’s climbed Tempest VI 5.8 A4, which he said is more difficult than Atlantis, and he’s currently on Reticent Wall VI 5.7 A5. Below are posts by Tippett of Atlantis and a livestream from Reticent.

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