Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

News

Tommy Caldwell Hurt on the Dawn Wall

Tommy Caldwell has suffered an injury that could delay the big-wall project for another season.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Tommy Caldwell’s famed Dawn Wall project seems to have been ill-fated for the 2013 season. First, the government shutdown caused a two-week delay for Caldwell and his climbing partners Kevin Jorgeson and Chris Sharma. And now, Caldwell has suffered an injury that could delay the big-wall project for another season.

On November 1, Caldwell wrote on his Facebook page: “Disaster strikes! Haul bag took a 200-foot plunge while clipped to the back of my harness. Hauling hook fail. It was a bit jarring. Looks like a costochondral separation. I am headed home to try and heal as quickly as possible.”

A costochondral separation, which occurs when a rib separates from the sternum, can take upwards of three months to heal with complete rest from strenuous activities. At this time, however, it is unknown whether Caldwell’s injury is mild or severe, but with the already shortened window of climbing on what is likely the world’s hardest big-wall free climb, the Dawn Wall project could be delayed until 2014.

Caldwell has been attempting to free climb the Dawn Wall since 2007. The route follows the aid line of Mescalito with slight variations and holds a staggering six pitches of 5.14 climbing. Despite the government shutdown postponement, Caldwell, Jorgeson and Sharma were reportedly making good progress on the route. Kevin Jorgeson and Caldwell provided updates during their 2013 bid via Facebook–a few of which you can see below.

Update: According to Chris Sharma’s latest Instagram post, it does indeed seem that the 2013 Dawn Wall season has ended.

Sharma posted: “A huge big up and thanks to the Dons of the Dawn Wall @tommycaldwell and @kjorgeson for having me up there with them.” It was such a new and mind blowing experience. It’s hard to comprehend how big and hard that thing is. Tommy I hope you recover and get back up there soon. Was so good getting to hang after so many years!”