Alex Honnold takes a practice run up El Cap. Photo: Tom Evans/El Cap Report
Alex Honnold and Hans Florine set a new speed record on the Nose of El Capitan on Sunday, climbing the 2,900-foot face in 2:23:51. The pair shattered the old record, set by Dean Potter and Sean Leary in November 2010, besting it by nearly 13 minutes.
In the days prior to their ascent, Honnold and Florine prepared by making several speed laps up the route together. In addition, Honnold notched two notable speed ascents of his own, climbing El Capitan, Mt. Watkins, and Half Dome free in a day with Tommy Caldwell on May 18 and 19, then returning two weeks later to repeat the linkup solo.
"As much as I love El Cap, I'm starting to fantasize about climbing smaller rocks," Honnold wrote on Facebook after a practice lap up the Nose last Wednesday.
Florine, who turns 48 tomorrow, has held the Nose speed record on eight separate occasions over the past 22 years. He first broke it in 1990, climbing the route with Steve Schneider in 8:06, and was the first to break the three-hour barrier in 2002 with Yuji Hirayama. In November, he and Honnold missed breaking the record by just 45 seconds.