She Climbed El Capitan!

November 20, 2020
Mike Murphy [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
At approximately three thousand feet high, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is one of the world’s tallest granite monoliths (a single upright slab of stone). It’s a gigantic rock that has both intimidated and fascinated professional climbers, and the sheer challenge of climbing up the vertical slab is one of the reasons why few have attempted it, and even fewer have conquered it. Well, Emily Harrington wasn’t going to let El Capitan intimidate her! While many were anxiously awaiting the US presidential election result, Harrington prepared for the climb of her lifetime. At 1:34 a.m. on November 4th, Harrington (who opted to climb El Capitan’s more difficult Golden Gate route) began her ascent with free climber and world record holder Alex Honnold. After a serious slip that almost dashed her hopes of conquering the granite slab, Harrington took her last step and officially completed the climb in twenty-one hours and thirteen minutes. She is the first woman to ever free climb El Capitan in under twenty-four hours. In an Instagram post after she reached her goal, Harrington wrote, “I never believed I could actually free climb El Cap in a day when I first set the goal for myself. It didn’t seem like a realistic objective for me. I didn’t have the skills, fitness, or risk profile to move so quickly over such a large piece of stone. But I chose it exactly for that reason. Impossible dreams challenge us to rise above who we are now to see if we can become better versions of ourselves.” It just goes to show that if you put your mind to something and work hard to achieve it, you’ll reach your goal. Congratulations, Harrington!