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Emily Harrington: First Woman to Free Climb El Capitan of Yosemite in a Day

emily harrington

Emily Harrington reached near the 3000-foot pick point of El Capitan of Yosemite National Park. She is the first-ever woman to climb the route in just a day. Her hard work made her reach the historic achievement. The climber never made the top of the course as unreachable.

Harrington climbed to the pick point almost but failed to clinch. She had immense exhaustion during her journey. The lady fell to 150 feet by slipping above from the ground just a few weeks after. However, she didn’t have significant consequences but had a rope burn. The injury was on her neck and made her quit the journey that season.

Emily hung there long beside El Capitan even after she fell. She had bleeding going on from her injury. There was a severe wound above the eyes.

Emily said to ABC network news that she had lost hope to climb again after she fell. The climber was in grief and pain. She wanted to quit her dream and thought the top was not for her capacity.


Emily Harrington continued the journey with injury

There was her team treating the wound. She just had to climb. The team maintained the protocol of concussion. But there were no signs and was all this time hanging along the national park’s famous granite wall.

Emily had to convince herself that she had the right to climb to her dream. According to her, she is deserving of all her hard work put in.

There was only one more challenging area, which the mountaineer named its portion of the climb. If someone gets through this area, then it just a matter of time to reach the pick. There was already sunset. She completed 18 hours till then climbing. Last year she couldn’t pass through the problematic pitch which she had to get through this year. Harrington continued climbing with her headlamp on in the dark with her utmost will.

Fourth mountaineer and first woman climber to finish free climb El Capitan in one day

Any climbers live for these moments. She completed the rigid portion of the route with ease. After that, there was no stopping her. The feeling was so overwhelming for her.

Emily Harrington completed the free climb of El Capitan in 21 hours and 13 minutes. She became the fourth climber to achieve that in less than a day and the first woman climber to have such an achievement.

What free climb means?

Free climb means the rope will catch the climber if he or she falls. However, the strings don’t help the person to climb.

Emily Harrington said that men rule the world of climbing. She realized much later that she didn’t have any other way to reach the top. The climber, despite being a woman, belongs there. She achieved it with her own rules.

The climbing needs not only technical soundness, strength but physical and mental stamina too.

Harrington missed the past two attempts but trained hard to get back this year

Harrington missed the last two opportunities to climb last year. She articulated her weaknesses and built up the power, stamina, and strength to succeed.

Emily trained with her boyfriend Adrian Ballinger. Running in the mountains increased her power. She used to train in Lake Tahoe. She lived there with her partner. Her boyfriend, who is also a mountaineer, helped her immensely. She achieved much more efficiency in climbing. That enabled her to reach the top with lesser time and losing less energy.

There was a cloud around the fact if she can attempt the climb this year due to c Covid-19 pandemic. Yosemite National Park was not available to the climbers in the spring due to the lockdown. The park also shut down in the winter because of wildfire.

Emily Harrington’s dream was under a cloud due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The pandemic made her focus on the journey, and there were no other distractions or travels to divert her mind. Emily felt apprehensive about getting back to the granite wall after the failure. She overcame her weak points, which caused the loss, and started training. Alex Honnold, famous for the free solo, was her partner in the climb on El Capitan. They had not used appropriate gears, and also the day was cold enough. This time she made sure to choose an exact strategy to avoid such hurdles.

Emily Harrington training for two years to finish the climb in one day

Harrington finished the El Capitan climb through the Golden Gate route in 2015 first. But it took her more than six days to reach the top. She has been training for two years for the climb and to finish it in just one day. It seemed a life goal for her, and the dream she ultimately achieved with sheer hard work and determination.

She said that El Capitan climb in one day was her longing dream, and all her sweat and blood paid off in just one day.


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