Emily Harrington becomes 1st woman to free-climb El Capitan via notoriously difficult route

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Emily Harrington becomes 1st woman to free-climb El Capitan via notoriously difficult route - We The World Magazine
Emily Harrington received a nasty gash on the forehead but became the first woman to climb the El Capitan without rope, in 24-hours, via the most difficult Golden Gate route (Image courtesy of Emily Harrington via Instagram)

Thirty-four years-old Emily Harrington from Colorado became the first woman to climb the El Capitan in Yosemite National Park — a vertical granite rock formation that is known to test a climber’s skills.

Harrington, who climbed the stiff, granite formation sans rope, in 24-hours became the first woman to scale the surface, that too via the notoriously difficult Golden Gate route, local media reports.

The 34-years-old boss-lady was accompanied by boyfriend and Mount Everest guide Adrian Ballinger, and renowned climber Alex Honnold, who free-soloed up El Capitan in 2017.

Harrington was reportedly sent to the hospital last year after she has a fall from 150 feet while attempting to climb the El Capitan. But this time she managed to scale the surface, without any support, in just a day!

“Impossible dreams challenge us to rise above who we are now to see if we can become better versions of ourselves,” Emily wrote on an Instagram post.

She said she did not have the skills, expertise, and risk profile needed to move so quickly over such a large piece of stone. But being “caught between my own internal drama of achieving a life goal and the more prevalent one of the elections” Emily started her achievement to the ‘big day’ midnight on November 4th.

She said a nasty slip on her way to attaining the summit some 3,000ft (1,000m) above sea-level almost took her to resolve. Harrington sustained a forehead injury.

“I pulled on again, part of me not really wanting to stay on the wall, the other part gathering courage and flow,” she said. “I kept thinking “why am I still hanging on?”

Harrington is the 4th woman to free-climb the arduous pitch, but the other three women took the less-extreme route to the summit. All the other Golden Gate route climbers were men, the BBC reported.

Photographer and climber Jon Glassberg who accompanied the climber-trio with a camera to document the adventure-sport described Emily saying: “I have not seen toughness like this in climbing before and likely won’t again.”

“I spent a lot of years feeling like I didn’t belong like maybe I hadn’t earned my place to be a Yosemite climber,” said Emily in an interview with San Fransisco Chronicles newspaper.

“But throughout this experience, I learned that there is no belonging or not belonging, no formula to achievement up there,” she added. “I was creative and experimental, and I found my own way.”

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