29 October 2011
Bristol based climber Hazel Findlay (22) has managed a free ascent of Golden Gate – El Capitan, Yosemite, partnered by the Austrian Hansjörg Auer, swinging leads on the 38 pitch big wall and climbing every pitch free (some on lead, some on second).
This was the first free female ascent of Golden Gate (the route was freed in 3 days in October 2000 by the German brothers Huber). In 2007 Martina Cufar tried the exploit with Sean Leary, but failed on two of the most difficult pitches, The Move and The Downclimb
The Huber evaluated the route 5.13b (8a), now is considered grade 5.13a (7c +) and usually climbed in 38 pitches.
Freeing El Cap is something most climbers want to do when they get to a certain level" writes Hazel on her report - "Everything about the wall, it’s beauty, history, height and the hard nature of the climbing make freeing el cap the ultimate goal for a good climber. (..) . For a long time I didn’t have a partner or a route in mind. I didn’t really want to try Freerider, the usual first route for most climbers wanting to free El Cap, I had seen pictures of Golden Gate and for some reason I was drawn to that route.
On her blog the detailed report of the ascent.
Hazel redpointed sport climbing routes up to 8b, and onsight up to 7c On her curriculum, trad climbs up to E9, trad climbs onsight up to E6, multipitch onsight up to 5.12b
Source and more infos: UKC Hazel Findlay HansJoerg Auer