Tommy Caldwell, 36, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, are trying something that has never been done before.
Since December 27th, the duo have been scaling El Capitan's Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. The Dawn Wall is just that - a vertical wall more than half a mile tall with a smooth surface.
What really makes this story incredible is that the men are climbing it without ropes! (Other than to catch their falls) This is known as a free climb - moving upward is done only with hands and feet. The Dawn Wall, named because it catches the first light of morning, is harder than any other routes up the mountain.
“If they get it completed, it will be the hardest completed rock climb in the world,” said Tom Evans, who first climbed El Capitan 48 years ago and keeps track of climbs through his blog. “This will be the climb of the first half of the 21st century.”
When not climbing, Caldwell and Jorgeson rest, eat, drink coffee and surf online. They often treat battered fingertips and go to the bathroom in a bag. They charge cellphones via solar and have supply deliveries every five days.
There is one thing they miss from the horizontal world: a place to take a few steps and merely walk.