El Capitan climbers reach peak, make history at Yosemite

Two Americans reached the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, making history by completing what some have called the world’s most difficult climb.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are the first to free-climb El Capitan’s 3,000-foot Dawn Wall. For 19 days, the pair used only their hands and feet to ascend, although ropes were used to break falls.

Afterward, Caldwell and Jorgeson got a shoutout from President Barack Obama, who tweeted in part, « You remind us that anything is possible. » 

Photos: Climbers reach top of Yosemite’s El Capitan, making history gallery

Photos: Climbers reach top of Yosemite’s El Capitan, making history

Folks love a good human achievement, and onlookers really wanted to explain to non-climbers how big an achievement it was.

« It’s 3,000 feet. That’s almost three times as tall as the Empire State Building, » one anchor from Al Jazeera said.

Jan. 14, 2015 photo

Ben Margot

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AP

« They’ve had to contend with razor sharp edges and frigid winds, » a BBC reporter said.

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« It’s getting pretty rowdy! » climber Kevin Jorgeson said.

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