They made it: Two free-climbers today achieved the amazing feat of scaling a sheer granite wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park using only their hands and feet. Kevin Jorgeson, 30, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, made it to the top of the Dawn Wall about 3pm local time, the first to do so in free-climbing fashion, reports the National Geographic. They were both tethered to ropes during the 19-day climb, but those were safety lines meant to save them in the event of falls, not to aid in climbing.
The 3,000-foot ascent is considered the most difficult rock climb in the world, and many thought it to be impossible, notes AP. The pair slept in tents fastened to the wall at night, and sometimes had to rest for days to allow their fingers to heal from the inch-by-inch ordeal. The men began plotting the climb several years ago, and each had failed previously. "This is not an effort to 'conquer,'" Jorgeson wrote yesterday on Twitter. "It's about realizing a dream."