El Capitan at Yosemite is a magnet for big wall climbers. The climb up the Nose has been known to take experienced climbers three-to-four days, sometimes more. It's huge. National Geographic notes, "If the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building were stacked next to it, the Nose would loom above them for another 10 stories."
After 11 failed attempts, Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds took on the Nose again last October in hopes of setting a record for the least amount of time to scale the wall. They did it. It took them two hours, 19 minutes and 44 seconds, besting the previous time by four minutes. The previous time, set by Alex Honnold and Hans Florine, was thought to be unbeatable. Honnold, who has set many speed climbing records, is the only person to ever free-climb the Nose and Florine has set the speed record on the Nose eight times, according to Nat Geo.
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The climb took place a few months ago, but a stunning time-lapse video of their climb has just been released by photographer Tristan Greszko. It's awe-inspiring. "Watching this as it happened was one of the more incredible spectacles I've ever witnessed," Greszko wrote in the video's description, "an amazing display of superhuman mastery unlike anything I've seen before."
As the video notes, the Nose, which you can visit for free four times this year, was first scaled in 1958. It wasn't until 1975 that someone managed to climb it in just one day. There are so many ways this is impressive it might even spur curmudgeonly Neil deGrasse Tyson into a rare use of the word "awesome."
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