07 October 2011
New Zealander climber Mayan Smith-Gobat has done the free ascent of Salathe wall (5.13b 35 pitches 900 m) on El Capitan. The first free female ascent was done by Steph Davis on 2005.
"Free climbing El Capitan has always been a dream of mine…"writes Mayas on her blog -"Something which I have always aspired to ever since I started climbing. I have always had a fascination for big walls, and loved being in exposed, beautiful places. However, until a couple years ago I did not take it on as a real goal. Then, when I when I climbed El Capitan for the first time, via the Free Rider, I realized my dream was not too far fetched and I set my sights on trying the Salathe. The strikingly steep, flaring crack on the crazily exposed headwall captured my imagination… It is beautiful and brutally unforgiving."
One year before sending the Salathe, Mayan was forced to bail off the route after freeing everything up to the Headwall, in reason of a brutal thunderstorm.
read more on Blog Mayan Smith-Gobat