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.