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Weekend Watch: Record-setting El Cap ascent

Who will break the record next? Climber Brad Gobright hints when, but won't say who.


Wyoming-based filmmaker and photographer Tristan Greszko condensed 2 hours, 19 minutes, 44 seconds into a 7-minute time lapse of climbers Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds breaking the standing speed record on El Capitan last October.

And even though it was a speed ascent, Gobright told SNEWS, “We actually aren’t moving super fast in real life. It’s mostly about not stopping and keeping consistent movement. You can’t tell in the video but we’re breathing heavy and totally covered in sweat.”

After 11 previous attempts, Gobright and Reynolds shaved off 4 minutes of the previous record of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 45 seconds, formerly set by Alex Honnold and Hans Florine in 2012.

The very first ascent took 45 days over an 18 month period from July 1957 to November 1958. The second ascent took 7 days in 1960. And it wasn’t until 15 years later that the route was climbed in a single day.

“Watching this as it happened was one of the more incredible spectacles I’ve ever witnessed; an amazing display of superhuman mastery unlike anything I’ve seen before,” Greszko said in the video’s caption.

Gobright said chills washed over him when he watched the video.

“Tristan did an excellent job at putting that thing together,” he said. “The lighting was really nice and it was cool how he captured us in the upper dark corners.”

In talking with SNEWS, Gobright left off with a serious cliffhanger: “I’m guessing the record will be broken by two other climbers this spring, but I won’t say who!”