adventure sports

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Capturing Climbing History on the Dawn Wall with @coreyrichproductions

For more photos from the Dawn Wall free climb, follow photographer Corey Rich (@coreyrichproductions) and climbers Tommy Caldwell (@tommycaldwell) and Kevin Jorgeson (@kjorgeson) on Instagram.

“It’s very rare in life that you get to witness people really pushing it to the limit, and to have a front seat,” says adventure photographer Corey Rich (@coreyrichproductions). For the past three weeks, he’s been hanging thousands of feet over the floor of California’s Yosemite Valley, documenting pro climbers Tommy Caldwell (@tommycaldwell) and Kevin Jorgeson (@kjorgeson) as they’ve made their way up the granite face of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall. Using ropes only for safety, the pair made history this week by charting and completing a route that is widely considered the most difficult climb ever attempted.

Tommy has been attempting the climb for the past six years, and Kevin joined him in 2009. Corey began documenting the quest up the Dawn Wall when the project first began, and over time they’ve all become close friends. “There’s something special about photographing the people you really care about and traveling and surfing and suffering and sitting on planes, trains, and automobiles together for weeks on end,” Corey explains. “It makes you close, and there’s overlap in our lifestyles and passions. That’s pretty unique.”

Even though the feat is complete, Corey stresses that the spirit of adventure extends beyond the face of the cliff. “I think if people take one thing away from this, it’s find adventure in your life,” he says. “It’s about unknown outcome, taking calculated risks and trying to make something beautiful out of that. Enjoy that experience, enjoy the ride.”