YOSEMITE VALLEY

Posted on: March 1, 2003


Beginning on September 9 at 10 a.m. and finishing on September 10 at 9:23 a.m., Dean Potter freed the Regular Route (VI 5.12, twenty-four pitches) on Half Dome and Free Rider (VI 5.12d, thirty-five pitches) on El Cap in one push. Potter spent the hot part of the summer dialing the moves on both climbs with help from his wife, Steph Davis, before firing the enchainment on his first attempt. Long-time friend and speed-climbing partner Jose Pereyra followed Potter up Half Dome, and Scott Stowe jumared behind him on El Cap. Potter led the crux of Free Rider by headlamp and topped out completely worked.

Perhaps the most impressive effort of the season was made by Yuji Hirayama, who, after becoming the second person to free the Salathe in a day (thirteen hours), shattered the Nose record with Hans Florine (2:54), then onsighted Quantum Mechanic (V 5.13a), a proud new route put up by Rob Miller and Jay Selvidge on Washington Column [see Alpinist 1, p. 78 for a topo of Quantum Mechanic -Ed.].

—Cedar Wright, USA

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