Outside Magazine December 2002
Outside Magazine December 2002

Climber of the Year

Outside Magazine December 2002

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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.

Sorcerer of Stone: Potter on Yosemite's El Capitan Sorcerer of Stone: Potter on Yosemite’s El Capitan
Outside Magazine December 2002 Outside Magazine December 2002


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

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