“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.”
This is a shot of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson on their attempt to free climb the Dawn Wall route on El Capitan. This was the night Kevin Jorgeson sent pitch 15, a huge milestone to conquer on this historic climb. (those lights on the right side are the men climbing by the light of their headlamps)
Climbers complete historic scale of Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan
New York Times: Two free climbers reached the summit of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, after 19 days of climbing.Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are the first to free climb every inch of the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall, considered the most challenging rock climb in the world.
Big congratulations are due to Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson after completing the Dawn Wall today. I was fortunate enough to be in the Valley while they working the crux pitches and I got this shot one evening. You can spot them by the tiny streak of light from their headlamps. History has been made.