Honnold and Florine going for it

posted by dpm on 06/16/2012

Tomorrow, Sunday the 17th, Alex Honnold and Hans Florine are planning to go for a speed record on El Capitan's Nose route. Place your bets now on if they'll succeed or not but it'll likely be a close one. No one seems to have the system as wired as Florine who has held the record, on and off, for over 20 years! Speedclimb.com has a comprehensive list of speed records from Warren Harding's team's 12-day push in 1958 to the current record of 2:36:45 set by Sean Leary and Dean Potter in 2010. Florine's name appears consistently all the way back to 1990 when he climbed it in 8 hours with Steve Schneider. The next year he shaved 2 hours off of that time with Andres Puhvel, then 2 more hours off of that with Peter Croft the next year. By 2008, Hans had the time down to 2:43:33 with Yuji Hirayama and that record stood for 2 years before it was broken by Sean Leary and Dean Potter.

Hans Florine and Alex Honnold ready to go for it. Photo: Hans' Facebook

After Alex Honnold's already outstanding and various record-breaking season in Yosemite, Hans joked on Facebook, "I think he's getting fit enough to go climbing with me. :)" Soon after, the two were taking practice runs on the Nose and getting their system dialed. Their first run was June 13th, and they clocked a practice time of 3:53:32. Not too bad... The next day they turned up the gas and came away with another 'practice' run of 2:39:57. Tomorrow, they'll be going full throttle. A good place to watch for current updates is Tom Evan's Elcapreport.com. Tom's usually standing in El Cap Meadow taking pictures of climbers, especially for big events like tomorrow's attempt.

Check out the amazing pictures he took of Hans and Alex's June 14th practice run.

You can also look for updates on Hans Florine's Facebook page

Read a NY Times article about Alex Honnold here. It's a pretty thorough assessment of his accomplishments in Yosemite this year. Amazing stuff.