Peter Hoffmeister and speed-climbing legend Hans Florine face off in a race to climb 3,000 feet—the height of the Nose of El Capitan—at the Columns in Eugene, Oregon.
This film is a story of the event—which took place after both climbers suffered life-changing accidents.
In an article for Rock and Ice about the competition Peter Hoffmeister wrote, “Hans and I each had terrible accidents. Hans famously shattered his legs on El Cap. I was hit by a car while biking to work and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Hans had surgeries and was in a wheelchair for a period. I had seizures, rested in a dark room for weeks, then did cognitive therapy, neuro-vision therapy, and vocational rehab.”
The comebacks are part of what make the story so epic.
Peter Hoffmeister summarized the competition at the end of the aformentioned article:
Ultimately, the race came down to a 5.10d finger crack called The Hard Layback. On that route, I did my eight laps (plus eight rappels) in 18:37.
Hans—having to onsight then repeat—ran those same eight laps in 23:16. So I gained a 4:39 advantage on that route.
Hans completed his full El Cap Day—3,000 feet of climbing and 63 rappels—in 2:27:07, an amazing time at a new crag, and the second-fastest recorded time in the history of our urban crag by 40 minutes. It was a world-class effort by a world-class climber.
But I finished in 2:05:55, breaking my old record by more than an hour.
I’d kept an open mind, trained like a pro, and suddenly anything—anything at all—was possible. Even for a thicker, shorter, non-pro guy that nobody’s ever heard of.