Estes Park man makes daring attempt to climb toughest rock face in the world

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ESTES PARK, Colo. -- They say this will be the first really true free-climb of the toughest granite rock face in the world … we’re talking about a pair of men who are climbing the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park.

“Tommy and his fellow climber, Kevin Jorgenson have tried to make the climb on two other occasions, but weather and a broken ankle turned the pair back,” said father Mike Caldwell. “But Tommy is wired differently than most, he knows all of the preparation the pair have made will get them through this tough, almost impossible climb.”

The way the pair are making the attempt on El Captain is pretty unique. They are climbing at night when conditions on the rock face are less hot than in the daytime. They are using special shoes which won’t melt when heated during daytime hours on the rock. They are using ropes only to help catch them if they fall, but if they fall they have to return to the last "safe spot" before moving on up the rock face.

“We know all the work that has gone into this climb will be a success,” said Becca Caldwell, Tommy’s wife. “We hope Kevin’s fingers heal enough for them to reach the summit before the Denver Broncos game this weekend. But, if not, we are confident they will live out a dream come true!”

The pair are about half way up the climb, about 1,500 feet. Each day they spend suspended in cliff-connected beds, while using the full moon's light at night to continue their trek. We will keep you posted on their efforts.

You can follow their climb by using the following resources:


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