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Woman becomes 1st female climber to free-climb El Capitan's Golden Gate route in 1 day

Woman becomes 1st female climber to free-climb El Capitan's Golden Gate route in 1 day
Posted at 9:52 AM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 13:00:34-05

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Rock climber Emily Harrington has become the first woman, and fourth person, to free-climb the Golden Gate route on Yosemite National Park’s granite wall in a single day.

The 34-year-old began to scale 3,000-foot El Capitan early Wednesday.

The San Francisco Chronicle says Harrington reached the top in 21 hours, 13 minutes and 51 seconds, despite banging her head on the granite wall at one point.

Free climbers don't use ropes to ascend, only to catch them if they fall.

Harrington posted about her accomplishment on Instagram over the weekend.

“I never believed I could actually free climb El Cap in a day when I first set the goal for myself,” she wrote in a caption. “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.”

As for her head injury, Harrington says she suffered a “nasty slip” that almost took her resolve. It left a deep gash on her forehead, but she soldiered through it and reached the end by about 10:30 p.m.