Number 11: Caldwell Confirms FFA of Magic Mushroom

Posted on: May 19, 2008

The southwest aspect of El Capitan, showing Magic Mushroom (V A3 5.7, ca. 2,900', Burton-Sutton, 1972). Tommy Caldwell confirmed the first free ascent of the route on May 19. It is believed he climbed it ground up with Justin Sjong beginning on May 12. Caldwell's first free ascent marks his eleventh free route on El Cap, more than any other climber. [Photo] Luke Bauer

Tommy Caldwell, continuing his historic Yosemite free-climbing sweep, has confirmed the first free ascent of El Capitan’s Magic Mushroom (V A3 5.7, ca. 2,900', Burton-Sutton, 1972). He was joined on the climb by Justen Sjong, who, among other El Cap ticks, has freed Golden Gate (VI 5.13b, Huber-Huber, 2000), the Salathé Wall (VI 5.9 A2, Frost-Pratt-Robbins, 1961; FFA: 5.13b Piana-Skinner, 1988) and the Muir Wall (VI 5.9 A2, Chouinard-Herbert, 1965; FFA: 5.13c, Caldwell, 1995). The pair began up the route on May 12; it is believed they climbed it all free ground-up in a push. It is not yet clear whether both climbers freed every pitch.

The free ascent marked the eleventh free climb Caldwell has done on El Cap. His unprecedented bonanza of free routes is rapidly eclipsing El Cap’s next-most prolific free climber, Alex Huber, who has seven free routes to his credit. More information about his ascent of Magic Mushroom will be posted on Alpinist as soon as it is available.

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