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Challenging the Speed Record on El Capitan
Posted on: June 30, 2008
On Sunday, a couple of climbers, Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama (who currently hold the second place in speed record ascents of El Cap), attempted to challenge the world record. (Article about climb from San Francisco newspaper here.) Germans Thomas and Alexander Huber hold the current record; they scaled the Nose route in 2 hours, 45 minutes in October. Florine and Hirayama missed the record by two and a half minutes, but they plan to try again on Wednesday.
Is setting a record speed climbing really what climbing El Cap is about? Or what climbing anything is about? It seems that these guys are more wrapped up in beating one another than in making progress in the climbing world. Their climbs are now only focused around numbers and other people. Their drive to win and hold a record on El Cap has eclipsed the real value of individual challenge, and maybe even safety.
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