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Yosemite rock climbers smash El Capitan speed record 2 days after Boulder man, partner die in fall

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Two climbers have set a speed record on El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park, breaking a barrier that’s been compared to the 4-minute mile.

Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell scaled the 3,000-foot sheer granite wall Monday in 2 hours, 1 minute and 53 seconds.

The mark came just two days after another pair of climbers — 46-year-old Jason Wells of Boulder and 42-year-old Tim Klien of Palmdale, California — fell to their deaths on the massive wall. Klien had family living in Colorado.

The time on the technical route has consistently dropped since the peak was first climbed 60 years ago by Warren Harding and three others.

But that first climb took 12 days in a final push that followed 48 days of work over 18 months to drill hardware into the rock.

Honnold and Caldwell climbed with little assistance from equipment permanently bolted to the wall.