Freakish climbers make unthinkable history

Tuesday, 24 October 2017, 04:21:56 PM. TWO climbers have set a new speed record for ascending the Nose route of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, one of the world’s most technical and dangerous verticals.

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Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds during their record climb.

TWO climbers have set a new speed record for ascending the Nose route of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, one of the world’s most technical and dangerous verticals.

Brad Gobright, 29, and climbing partner Jim Reynolds raced up the nearly 90-degree, 2,900-foot (884 metre) precipice in just two hours and 19 minutes.

The pair broke the previous record set in 2012 by four minutes. The previous record was set by Alex Honnold and Hans Florine and in 2 hours and 23 minutes in June 2012.

A couple cool shots taken by @christian_cattell of @chimney_jim and I on the last hundred feet of the Nose. We got the speed record yesterday at 2:19:44! In this final section our stoke was high as we knew we had it in the bag! Maybe the hardest physical thing I've ever done. @gramicci

A post shared by Brad Gobright (@bradgobright) on

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According to National Geographic, most climbers had considered Honnold and Florine’s time unbeatable.

Honnold — who earlier this year became the first and only climber to free solo El Capitan —holds multiple speed climbing records, and Florine has set the speed record on the Nose eight times.

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Living climbing legend Alex Honnold. Source: YouTube

In 2010, he and Florine shaved a whopping 13 minutes off the 2010 record set by Dean Potter and Sean Leary. The first speed ascent of the route was set in 1975, in a time of 17 hours and 45 minutes.

Gobright and Reynolds said their attempt had been more than a year in the making and that Honnold and Florine had helped with advice.

“It feels good to be a part of that piece of Yosemite history,” Gobright told National Geograpic.

“I don’t think the record will last long, but it’s nice to get the race started again.”

Yosemite Climbing Association president Ken Yager has described climbing the Nose as a “very dangerous pursuit” and he worries about climbers, especially when going fast.

More than two dozen people have been killed on El Capitan since 1905.

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