Climber of the Year

Dec 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Sorcerer of Stone: Potter on Yosemite's El Capitan

Outside Magazine December 2002

This September, speed climber Dean potter flashed Half Dome and El Capitan in a continuous 23-hour, 23-minute blitz that left his competition eating chalk. The 30-year-old Zen king of Yosemite is the first ever to free-climb—that is, use ropes and protection only as backup in case he falls, but otherwise pull himself up the rock without artificial aid—both faces in less than a day.

Potter, profiled in the December issue of Outside, drank some four gallons of water and noshed constantly on Clif Bars, nuts, sardines, and canned pineapples during the 5,000-foot vertical sprint. He began at the base of Half Dome at 10 A.M on September 9, and crested the top of El Cap at 9:23 A.M. on September 10.

For photos documenting Potter's unprecedented linkup of Yosemite's two legendary big walls and an interactive map detailing his routes, click here

Filed To: Rock Climbing

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