‘Two Nineteen Fourty Four’: Breaking the Speed Record on The Nose of El Capitan

On a cold, misty morning in late October 2017, after 11 previous attempts, Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds broke the standing speed record on The Nose (formerly held by Alex Honnold and Hans Florine) with an unbelievable new time of 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 44 seconds. Watching this as it happened was one of the more incredible spectacles Tristan Greszko has ever witnessed—luckily, he chose to share it with us all.



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“We got back down to the Loop Road about two that afternoon, exhausted by the nervous depression that always follows a wall. As we stumbled around the bend, El Capitan came into view, backlit and burning at the edges. For all the raw labor and anxieties of the climb, it was natural that, all the way up, I should wonder if I was committing more to a venture than it was actually worth, if I was putting too much into too little. But if there is anything of a magnitude that can blow person off his feet, it’s that first ground-level view of the wall he’s just climbed. Too little? The second we saw it, Ron and I stood in the middle of the road and gaped at it with our mouths open. It looked about 10 miles high. And how long ago it seemed we’d been up there, and how strange, as though we’d seen it in a movie, or in a dream, and had suddenly woken up, half remembering what it was we dreamed.” —John Long :: Rock Jocks, Wall Rats, and Hang Dogs