Wow! Two climbers used nothing but their hands, feet, and safety rope to scale a 3,000 granite wall in Yosemite National Park — and they were the first ever to reach the top!
Kevin Jorgeson, 30, of California, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, of Colorado, made history on Wednesday, Jan. 14, when they became the first climbers to reach the top of the El Capitan inside Yosemite National Park. Their accomplishment is so impressive that even President Barack Obama congratulated them on social media for reminding Americans that “anything is possible.” So cool!
Yosemite Climbers Reach Top Of El Capitan
The climb took just over two weeks. Kevin and Tommy started together on Dec. 27, and on Jan. 14, their six-year long dream became a reality.
Both climbers kept family and friends updated via Facebook and Instagram, and on the day they finally reached the top of El Capitan, a crowd had formed at the bottom. They cheered wildly when the two men finally embraced each other at the top of the 3,000 granite wall.
In that crowd was Tommy’s mom, Terry, who told USA Today that he could have reached the top days ago, but that he waited for his friend, Kevin, to catch up.
“That’s a deep, abiding, lifelong friendship, built over suffering on the wall together over six years,” she explained.
It turns out that Kevin struggled with one spot in particular, falling 11 times across a span of seven days. On Sunday, Jan. 11, just days before reaching the top, he finally surpassed the tough spot.
“It took everything in my power to stay positive and resolved that I would succeed,” he wrote on Facebook.
President Obama Congratulates Kevin & Tommy
As excited as their family and friends were about their accomplishment, it was President Barack Obama who shared the most touching and inspiring congratulations of all.
“So proud of @TommyCaldwell1 and @KJorgeson for conquering El Capitan. You remind us that anything is possible. -bo,” was written on the official White House Twitter just four hours after they finished.
The tweet also includes a photo of Obama, in which he is posing in front of a painting of El Capitan with a big smile and a thumbs up for the guys. How cool is that?
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do YOU think about Kevin and Tommy’s historical climb? Comment below!
— Lauren Cox