Two rock climbers are on the verge of making history in Yosemite National Park.
Kevin Jorgeson, 30, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, are attempting to free climb the nearly 3,000-foot-high Dawn Wall of El Capitan, the park's legendary granite monolith. While the two men are using ropes to prevent them from falling to the ground, they are not using ropes to aid in the climb.
If Jorgeson and Caldwell succeed, they will become the first to do so, a feat that could happen as soon as this afternoon, according to Jess Clayton, a spokesperson for Patagonia and a sponsor of Caldwell.
In another inspiring battle late into the night Kevin managed to send pitches 18, 19, and 20. Clouds swirled all around It was truly a surreal scene. Tomorrow we leave our bacecamp and blast towards the top. With some luck we will be standing on top in a couple days. I an excited to walk on flat ground again although I am sure I will truly miss this experience. Great photo of what has been out home for the past 17 nights @coreyrichproductions @bigupclimbing.
The pair began the climb on Dec. 27, and have been sleeping in tents attached to the granite face of El Capitan. Other climbers, using aids, have been bringing them supplies and photographing the journey.
At times, the progress has been painstakingly slow. Jorgensen fell 11 times during a weeklong effort to complete one especially difficult section of the route, according to The Associated Press.
"Momentum is a powerful force," Jorgensen wrote on Facebook. "When it's on your side, everything feels a bit easier. When it's not on your side, it feels like wading through mud."
Jorgenson wrote on Twitter that the feat was not about "conquering" El Cap.
To anyone writing about #dawnwall, this is not an effort to "conquer." It's about realizing a dream.
— Kevin Jorgeson (@kjorgeson) January 13, 2015
If the two make it to the top, they plan to spend the rest of the day with family and will speak to the media on Thursday at the El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite Valley, Clayton said.
"I am really feeling the Yosemite love these days," Caldwell wrote on Facebook on Jan. 11. "After a lifetime of climbing here I am still struck by the grandness and beauty of this place."
Momentum is a powerful force. When it's on your side, everything feels a bit easier. When it's not on your side, it feels like wading through mud. For 7 days, my momentum was halted by Pitch 15. It took everything in my power to stay positive and resolved that I would succeed. Now that momentum has returned to my side, I'm staying just as focused and resolved because a lot of hard climbing remains. Yesterday I finished the last 5.14 pitch and another 5.13 pitch above that. Three more 5.13's guard my path to Wino Tower. Thanks for all the continued support everyone! #DawnWall Photo/@coreyrichproductions @bigupclimbing @adidasoutdoor