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Rock Climbing : Articles : Trip Report : The Huber Brothers Conquer El Cap

The Huber Brothers Conquer El Cap


Submitted by admin on 2007-10-28

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 6 | Comments: 20 | Views: 13810

OCTOBER 11, 2007:

Nearly fifty years after the first successful climb of the Nose of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, USA, Alexander and Thomas Huber have set a new speed-climbing record of 2hr 45min 45sec on October 8th, 2007.

It took Warren J Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore 47 days to ascend the 1000m-high face in 1958, but the two German brothers made the best of a warm autumn to break the previous best time of 2hr 48min 50sec set by Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama in 2006 by over three minutes.

"Thomas and I live for our sport and therefore we wanted to use the chance to climb faster than anybody else on that route," said Alexander Huber, 38, afterwards.

"The nose is the most famous route in the world and El Capitan is the most important rock face in climbing." Huber said. "It's just great to be there and do such crazy things like speed climbing!"

Using Suunto Core wristops, the Huber brothers were able to keep a close eye on their time as they raced up the mountain. The Suunto wristops also monitored their altitude as they ascended at an incredible rate of almost 6.1m per minute.

The Bavarian-born brothers have spent four weeks in Yosemite National Park, California, preparing for the attempt and making numerous dummy runs on the face.

"We climbed the route again and again in order to know the moves and tactical tricks as well as to gain the necessary endurance," said Alexander Huber.

"California's Indian Summer offers the best conditions for climbers," he continues. "There is no rain and the temperatures are just perfect."

"To break the record was actually harder than we had expected. We really could feel that the record was established by world-class climbers."

"It's not only that the climbing is very risky, because we don't have the time to place lots of protection, but it was also very exhausting. To run up 1000 vertical meters in less than three hours is a tough game."

Amazingly Alexander and Thomas (40) had already made one successful attempt on October 4, and broke Florine's and Hirayama's time by a slim 20 seconds.

"This gave us the motivation to go back and to give it another try," Huber said, "even though there is always a high risk involved."

For the two brothers, who were introduced to alpinism by their father, a respected climber in his own right, claiming the record has special significance.

"We started the whole project exactly two years ago," Alexander explains. "Due to accidents and injuries we failed twice, so it cost a lot of motivation to come back and give it another try."

"But the more it costs the more memorable it is."

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All photos by Max Reichl and Heinz Zack.

Press contact:
Nick Warren
zooom productions
+43 6226 88 48-25
nick.warren@zooom.at

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20 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 Yosemite_Indian
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 2007-10-29
Just amazing. I am a Yosemite - Mono Lake Paiute, one of the original Yosemite Native American Indians of the valley and I find this amazing that they could scale El Capitan in record time. Simply amazing and congrats. Great photos also.
 cchildre
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 2007-10-29
Nice to see. Two guys on the cover of my first issue of Climbing. As arrogant as they have been portrayed in the media, at least they hang their sac out and back it up with a performance like this. I would get a swollen head if I held that record! LOL Great work...
 overlord
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 2007-10-29
1 out of 5 stars nice article :D was suunto a sponsor? :P
 bandycoot
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 2007-11-01
I'm confused... was this article about the Huber Speed record or Suunto? :)
 ptpp
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 2007-11-01
5 out of 5 stars Oh my gosh, that is hilarious! cchidldre, Thomas and Alex are in no way like this! Those words didn't come out of their mouths, I can tell you that for sure. In real life, they are perfectly ordinary unassuming guys. They will drink a beer with you anytime, or welcome you to their campfire in Camp 4. It's [i]because[/i] they are world class that they don't have to talk that way. Obviously written by the Suunto people. I never saw Thomas without his shirt this fall, or I sure would have noticed that HUGE new tattoo he's sporting. Holy.
 msiddens
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 2007-11-02
Man, Nice job and nice tat....small and unassuming.
 virginiapine
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 2007-11-02
Guess it musta been a slow day to put this kind of dreck on rc.com. Spew for a sponsor is what it is. Remind me to have y'all put one of my trip reports of my weekend 'exploits' on the front page - just as 'worthy' a bit of news as this article. 'Conquering', my ass...worked over every inch of it over who knows how long (they're hardly strangers to Yosemite).
 bwat
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 2007-11-03
Is it just me or is photo #2 not from the climb?

They could both have the same tattoo...But if not, the clothes are switched. He also appears to have a serious lack of facial hair in the photo.
 Anomen
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 2007-11-05
nah. he's just so manly he stopped to shave halfway up and grew his beard back by the time he got to the top :P
 le_bruce
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 2007-11-05
Absolutely stunning feat, but damn it leaves a bitter taste the way it's marketed here. You can't 'conquer' El Cap - what climber would ever want to come off sounding like that? Press contacts, Zooom Productions, Suunto - f all this stuff. Though it does go nicely with the big Armani banner at the top of RC.com... It's a shame to even mention Harding in such a soulless piece. Wretched stuff, folks.
 jermanimal
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 2007-11-07
1) They could have done it faster if they hadden't stopped and switched their helmets.

2) Sponsors need to check their facts, clearly they didn't have the watch on their wrist.

Anyone want to call that company and tell their copy editor what web 2.0 is.
 buheng
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 2007-11-07
i think that Suunto is a member of their fams...

may i have one?....;)
 muddyg
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 2007-11-13
"Is it just me or is photo #2 not from the climb?"

They probably just switched pants at a belay. People do it all the time...
 herothezero
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 2007-11-14
I never notice things like that.
 A-Bowl
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 2007-11-14
5 minutes a pitch! Anybody whos climbed that rock would understand how truly impressive and damn near impossible that time is. I bailed off dolt tower the day before their record and really regret not sticking around to get passed. Would have been an honor truly.
 A-Bowl
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 2007-11-14
5 minutes a pitch! Anybody whos climbed that rock would understand how truly impressive and damn near impossible that time is. I bailed off dolt tower the day before their record and really regret not sticking around to get passed. Would have been an honor truly.
 ladderslug
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 2007-11-16
4 out of 5 stars Wow! What the hell happened here? Two fellow climbers attempt and succeed at a feat most wouldn't even think of trying, and the jealous and rude among our ranks bash 'em. Get real people. It's an amazing accomplishment and I'm glad to be around to read about it, whoever wrote it.
 overlord
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 2007-11-19
1 out of 5 stars who was bashing the hubers? all the bashing i can see is bashing of this article, which, to tell the truth, is not exactly stellar, just some sponsor messages. the fact that they did set a speed record is not as important as the fact that they kept the time with their new shiny suunto watches ;)
 equalsten
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 2007-12-27
Do these guys do alpine speed climbing? No one has yet broken any of the purely official speed records set by Dan Howitt in 2003 and 2004 and more recently.
http://forums.climbing.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=4569&an=0&page=0#Post4569
 equalsten
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 2007-12-27
Dan Howitt set official speed records, yet unbroken, on Mt. Rainier Mt. Shasta Mt. Adams Mt. Hood. Including a 2:58 minute ascent from downtown Government Camp to Hood's summit timed by www.oregonpeakadventures.com a major guiding company in Oregon.

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