Stunning time-lapse footage makes climbers look like ants as they smash El Capitan climb speed record
This time-lapse footage shows the incredible speed with which two climbers broke a once-deemed unbeatable record for one of the fastest climbs on El Capitan.
Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds look like ants as they scale the iconic “Nose” in just 2:19:44, breaking the previous record by nearly four minutes.
The 2,900-foot climb is the equivalent of the height of the Empire State Building being stacked on top of the Chrysler Building – plus another 10 stories.
Their climb, filmed on October 21, 2017, and recently released by filmmaker Tristan Greszko, saw the pair reach their goal after 11 previous attempts.
Tristan, 36, from Jackson, Wyoming, said: “I shoot a lot of time-lapse, and I’ve never seen anything like this before, especially in the climbing world.”
The videographer had been considering filming a timelapse on El Capitan for several years, and having heard last fall about Brad and Jim closing in on the record – which still stands today – the videographer decided it would be the perfect opportunity.
For perspective: The first speed climb up the route taken by Brad, a professional climber, and Jim, a member of Yosemite Search and Rescue, lasted 17 hours and 45 minutes, in 1975.
Since then, the record has been broken 18 times, and many in climbing circles now see the pair’s time as unbeatable, given that many experienced climbers take four days to complete the route.
The pair began working on their Nose speed record in the spring of 2016, and for their record-breaking climb they began at dawn and finished a little after 9:00 am local time.
Tristan, whose project is called “Two Nineteen Fourty Four” in homage to the record time, said: ” Seeing Brad and Jim climb El Capitan like this, which is incomprehensibly huge already, with such speed and mastery is one of the most incredible, superhuman feats I’ve ever witnessed.
“Climbing at any level requires such a high level of mastery of both your mind and body – you have to be strong both mentally and physically, in a way that is much more demanding than many other sports.
“You need to control your fear and emotions, and breathing, often while clinging to tiny holds thousands of feet off the ground.
“In the end though, I really love the final video.”