Climbing season is ramping back up in Yosemite Valley and, to celebrate, we’re watching videos of awesome ascents of big-name rock faces. This feature highlights a climb by Matteo Della Bordella and David Bacci. In October, they completed a route called Free Rider on El Capitan.
Free Rider is a 2,900-foot, four-pitch climb that takes most climbers four days to complete. It is located on the Salathe Wall, a spot named by Yvon Chounard in honor of John Salathe—a pioneer of rock climbing in Yosemite. The route made the list of the Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and it's considered iconic among climbers worldwide.
In the footage, you’ll see the traditional crack climbing that Yosemite is known for. In this type of ascent, climbers place their own protective gear into cracks in the rock.
The 7,573-foot face of El Capitan has called to climbers since the beginning of the sport. Although once considered impossible to climb, it’s now the standard for big-wall climbing and hosts more than 70 routes to the top.