Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the summit of Yosemite National Park's "El Capitan" on Wednesday, becoming the first men ever to free-climb the rock formation's smooth, steep "Dawn Wall."
Free-climbing differs from aid-climbing in that free-climbers do not use ropes, bolts, picks or other equipment to facilitate their ascent. The climbers did use ropes and other equipment, but only to catch them when they fell. They only used their bare hands to pull themselves up the face of the rock.
Caldwell and Jorgeson had tried to climb the route before, but a 2010 attempt was thwarted by weather and Jorgeson broke his ankle attempting the climb in 2011, according to The New York Times. Caldwell tried to carry on without Jorgeson but couldn't get past a particularly tough section of rock.
- Dan Gartland