Honnold and Caldwell Crush the Nose Record. Again. And Again.

They broke the 2-hour mark

Editor’s Note: On June 6 Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell broke their own previous speed record a third time, sending the route in 1 hours, 58 minute and 7 seconds. On June 4 they broke their first record in 2 hours, 1 minute and 50 seconds.


Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell do the unthinkable—again. This morning they climbed the famed Nose on Yosemite’s El Capitan in a record-setting time. The Nose is an incredible 2,900 feet tall, rated to 5.14a (really hard), and takes the average good climber three to five days to finish. They did it in just 2 hours, 10 minutes and 15 seconds.

Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold on summit. Photo: REEL ROCK Film Tour, Sam Crossley

The two have shocked the world before with Honnold’s free solo (without ropes) of Freerider on El Capitan and Caldwell’s free climb (using only hands and feet, but a rope for safety) of the Dawn Wall. Honnold is also known for holding the fastest solo ascent of the Yosemite triple crown—Mount Watkins, The Nose and Half Dome—in 18 hours, 50 minutes. Caldwell made the first ascents of some of the United States’ hardest sport routes including Kryptonite (5.14d) and Flex Luthor (5.15a) at the Fortress of Solitude, Colorado.

Tommy Caldwell climbing above Texas Flake about halfway up The Nose on El Capitan. Photo: REEL ROCK Film Tour, Austin Siadak

Honnold and Caldwell bettered the previous record, 2:19:44, by nearly 10 minutes. The previous record was held by Jim Reynold and Brad Gobright, set on October 21, 2017. They took eight cams, 11 draws and 14 carabiners, according to Climbing magazine. “That was the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done,” Gobright told Climbing, even after free soloing routes like Hairstyles and Attitudes, (5.12b/c) in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado.