Kevin Jorgeson Is Still Gunning for the Dawn Wall
Kevin Jorgeson is not backing down from the Dawn Wall project. Despite Tommy Caldwell's recent accident, which resulted in a separated rib and his subsequent departure from El Cap, Jorgeson has decided to push on.
Kevin Jorgeson is not done with the Dawn Wall project. Despite Tommy Caldwell’s recent accident, which resulted in a separated rib and his subsequent departure from El Cap, Jorgeson has decided to push on.
“I’m committed to sending, no matter how long it takes,” Jorgeson told Rock and Ice in a recent e-mail exchange.
Jorgeson went on to explain that he has been working on the Dawn Wall project for the past five years alongside Caldwell, and that the massive big-wall route is now partly his creation as well.
“It’s my project too,” wrote Jorgeson. “I’ve put in hundreds of days of work into it. Tommy envisioned the route but we’ve really worked together to realize how it goes, where it goes, what the logistics are, how to protect it, everything.”
When asked if Caldwell supported his decision to continue, Jorgeson pointed out that when he injured his ankle on the wall two years ago, Caldwell asked to continue.
“Of course I said to go for it,” wrote Jorgeson. “I’m his partner. We support each other on this project. I also knew that if the situation were turned around, he would do the same for me. Unfortunately, now the situation is turned around and I’m going to keep working to make progress.”
Jorgeson’s plan is to pick up right where he, Caldwell and Sharma left off. As for partners, he will be joined by American bouldering powerhouse Carlo Traversi this weekend who is slated to provide support on the wall “for a bit” according to Jorgeson.
“Maybe I can talk him into a few more belays throughout the season,” wrote Jorgeson. “Other than that I don’t really know! If you know of any wall savvy climbers who would be up to do some hiking, jumaring and belaying, let me know!”
Jorgeson’s decision to continue gunning for the epic Dawn Wall project was also influenced by his current state of fitness. According to Jorgeson, the well anticipated send of the “world’s hardest big-wall” could be near.
“I’ve never felt better,” he wrote. “The crux pitches feel hard, but extremely doable. Tommy and I both climbed each crux sequence on the traverse pitches within a few attempts this year. There’s not a lot of mystery left on this route for us. We’ve spent so much time on all the pitches, it’s all very familiar.”
And according to Jorgeson, Caldwell may not be out of the game for that long.
“It sounds like Tommy is healing up nicely,” he wrote. “So I wouldn’t be surprised to have him back sooner rather than later.”
As stated above, Caldwell suffered a separated rib on El Cap last weekend and has currently returned home to heal. Jorgeson explained the incident in more detail, writing: “We were jumaring up fixed lines. Tommy was hauling the day bag with a rope, shoes, clothes, etc. for the evening session on the crux traverse pitch. We were using a hauling hook as we had all season. When Tommy left the pitch 7 anchor, the haul bag got jostled loose and took the full 200-foot whip onto the hauling loop on the back of his harness.”