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The Nose Goes Sub 2: Honnold and Caldwell Set New Record of 1:58:07

Yep, you guessed it. They did it. Sub two hours.

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Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have set a the new speed record on the Nose, scaling the roughly 3,000-foot route in 1 hour 58 minutes 7 seconds. Tommy Caldwell wrote on Instagram, “I’m feeling mioght thankful for my friendship with this guy [Alex Honnold]. Thanks for hauling the geriatric handicapped dad up the mountain this morning. 1:58:07.”

The pair beat their own previous record by almost four minutes and became the first people ever to climb the Nose in under two hours—a far cry from the nearly 50 days Warren Harding and company took on the first ascent way back in 1957 and 1958.

Tommy jugging up the Nose. Photo: Fred Pompermayer

Honnold and Caldwell have been working on the Nose record all season, gradually chipping away and sneaking closer to the two-hour barrier. They set two new—now obsolete—records en route to breaking the two-hour threshold: 2:10:15 on May 30, and 2:01:50 on June 4. In an R&I interview after their 2:10:15 record set May 30, Caldwell said, “It’s funny: Each time we’re up there, I don’t have my mind around how fast I’m going until I check the watch at the end of my block. And each time, it seems it’s been about five minutes faster.”

Speed climbing is inherently dangerous, and a number of recent accidents have accompanied the newly increased emphasis on speed as big wall climbing’s next frontier. Just last week, Jason Wells and Tim Klein fell to their deaths from El Cap, while attempting a speed climb of the Salathe. Klein had over 100 El Cap ascents, and Wells had at least 70. Nose speed veteran Hans Florine also snapped both his legs in a fall this spring, and Quinn Brett took a 100 footer during a Nose speed ascent last October, leaving her paralyzed below the waist.

Even Caldwell himself reportedly took a 100-footer while working for the speed record on the Nose recently. He noted in an interview with R&I, “It was my third time on the route this season, and I think I was going too fast, and I slipped off an easy section. I didn’t know where Alex was at that point—I was still learning everything. It was at this part where I do a pendulum, then he does a pendulum, and we have to untie and pull the rope. I was tied in, but there was a big loop of slack between us.”

Honestly, now that Honnold and Caldwell have broken two hours, we really hope these dudes call it a day or just take a breather. We’re really getting tired of writing these. Maybe now they’ll relax a bit, and go fishing or something. -Owen Clarke

Alex on the Nose. Photo: Fred Pompermayer.

Nose Speed Records (Since the First One-Day Ascent)

6/6/2018 – Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell – 1:58:07

6/4/2018 – Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell – 2:01:50

5/30/2018 – Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell – 2:10:15

10/21/2017 – Jim Reynolds, Brad Gobright – 2:19:44

6/17/2012 – Hans Florine, Alex Honnold – 2:23:46

11/6/2010 – Dean Potter, Sean Leary – 2:36:45

10/12/2008 – Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama – 2:37:05

7/2/2008 – Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama – 2:43:33

10/8/2007 – Alexander and Thomas Huber – 2:45:45

10/4/2007 – Alexander and Thomas Huber – 2:48:30

10/4/2007 – Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama – 2:48:55

9/29/2002 – Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama – 2:48:55

11/2001 – Dean Potter, Timmy O’Neill – 3:24:20

10/2001 – Hans Florine, Jim Herson – 3:57:27

10/2001 – Dean Potter, Timmy O’Neill – 3:59:35

1992 – Hans Florine, Peter Croft ~ 4:22:00

1991 –Peter Croft, Dave Schultz ~ 4:48:00

1991 – Hans Florine, Andres Puhvel ~ 6:01:00

1990 – Peter Croft, Dave Schultz ~ 6:40:00

1990 – Hans Florine, Steve Schneider ~ 8:06:00

1986 – John Bachar, Peter Croft ~ 10:05:00

1984 – Duncan Critchley, Romain Vogler ~ 9:30:00

1975 – Jim Bridwell, John Long, Billy Westbay in ~ 17:45:00

Also Read

Honnold and Caldwell Break Nose Record (Again!), Blaze Up in 2:01:50!

David Allfrey Sets Solo Speed Record on Zodiac

Hans Florine: The New Nose Record, Risk and Going Sub Two Hours

Interview: Tommy Caldwell on Nose Speed Record of 2:10:15

Photo Gallery: Third-Classing the Nose with Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold

Also Watch

VIDEO: Two Nineteen Forty Four – Complete Time-Lapse of Gobright and Reynolds’ Speed Record on the Nose

VIDEO: 13 minutes of Brad and Jim’s speed record on the Nose