North American Classic Climbs

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El Capitan

The Nose One of the top 25 routes in this collection!

Beta Images-1 Images-2 Slide Show

Probably the most famous rock climb in the world, this was the first route up El Capitan, with a large cast of characters driven to the task by the indomitable Warren Harding. Climbed by the elite in a day, and by the uncommonly gifted without aid, this remains a big adventure for the average wall climber as a mixed free and aid climb in 3 to 5 days. Very popular among the international set, this route suffers badly from crowding and environmental apathy.


Lowland Rock (Big Wall)




Yosemite Nat'l Park, California, USA



G5, G28, I1, I2, I3, I5, W9, W22, W25, W32


VI, 5.10A3 to 5.13


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Page 1, pitches 1-16 Page 2, pitches 17-31Click for latest route info at SuperTopo web site
USGS topographic map

First Ascent:

First Free Ascent:

W. Harding, W. Merry, G. Whitmore, 1958.
Lynn Hill, 1996


Trip Reports:

Bell & Shostek 9/96
Hamilton 2/69