3:30 p.m. Update:
(AP) Two Americans have become the first to free-climb Yosemite National Park's Dawn Wall, which has been called the hardest rock climb in the world.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson summited the 3,000-foot granite monolith in California on Wednesday after starting on Dec. 27.
The Dawn Wall is a vertical face on one side of the famous Yosemite rock formation known as El Capitan.
While there are roughly 100 routes up El Capitan, the Dawn Wall is considered the steepest and most difficult.
Though others have climbed the Dawn Wall, Caldwell and Jorgeson are the first to free-climb it, meaning they used ropes only as a safeguard against falls.
Yosemite climbers embrace near top of monumental climb. pic.twitter.com/KUjgfGTEcU— KQED News (@KQEDnews) January 14, 2015
(AP) - The two climbers vying to become the first in the world to use only their hands and feet to scale a sheer granite face in California's Yosemite National Park are almost to the top.
A spokeswoman said Tuesday that 30-year-old Kevin Jorgeson of California and 36-year-old Tommy Caldwell of Colorado will likely finish the half-mile climb up El Capitan's Dawn Wall on Wednesday evening.
For 17 days, the two have been attempting what many thought impossible. The men are "free-climbing" to the 3,000-foot summit, meaning they don't use climbing aids other than ropes only to prevent deadly falls.
Each trained for more than five years, and they have battled bloodied fingers and unseasonably warm weather. Plus, Jorgeson fell 11 times over seven days trying to get past one tough section.