For real this time: Keita Kurakami has become the fifth person to free the Nose on El Capitan—and incredibly did it without a partner, rope-soloing the entire thing! That’s a first. Last year, the Japanese climber made headlines when he reportedly freed the Nose, only to clarify that he never intended to claim a free ascent, as his style in 2017—bivying on the top during the climb—deviated from past ascentionists.
But this year he returned to finish the story and write his name into El Cap history. Sunday, November 19, just after 10:00 p.m., Kurakami sent this a messag via Facebook: “I’m in the top of El Cap now. So I free climbed the nose in a push from ground as solo style. I will tell you the detail when I get back camp site!!!”
Kurakami is the fifth person to free the route, following Lynn Hill, Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden and Jorg Verhoeven. (Some sources credit Scott Burk with a free ascent of the Nose in 1998. He top-roped the Great Roof because it was wet.)