Tommy Caldwell


Climbing has been a part of Tommy's life since the age of 3 when his dad took him up Twin Owls on Lumpy Ridge in his hometown of Estes Park to fly his kite from the summit. From there, summer vacations in Yosemite instilled a deep reverence for the huge granite walls. Though It wasn’t until after delving into (and excelling) in competition climbing and sport climbing that Tommy found a love for big wall free climbing on El Capitan. This love has turned into a 10+ year obsession.

Now, Tommy finds himself season after season banging his head against the granite of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park while free climbing the hardest lines on this proud wall. When not on El Cap or at home in Estes Park, Colorado,Tommy climbs all around the world. Some of his favorite places are bouldering spots in South Africa, big alpine walls in Patagonia, Argentina, limestone cliffs in Europe, and desert cracks in Indian Creek, Utah.

When we asked Tommy what he is up to now, this is how he responded,
"I am currently working on a free climbing project that wanders up the Dawn Wall of El Capitan. This inspiring line has come together over years of building experience on other El Cap routes and searching the blank face of the Dawn Wall. I have given this 33 pitch (5.14+) route 2 ground-up, continuous push efforts over 2 seasons and plan to go back again. My other passion is a 5’3” sandy blonde beauty. She is my main road trip partner, occasional belayer (accomplishing a feat of 10 straight days on El Cap last fall), favorite chef and wife."

Check out some of the video links below to get a better sense for Tommy's Dawn Wall project....

Notable Ascents:
(FA) Kryptonite (5.14c/d), Fortress of Solitude, Colorado.
(FA) Flex Luthor (a possible 5.15a),Fortress of Solitude, Colorado.
(FA) The Honeymoon is Over (5.13c), Long's Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
(FFA) Lurking Fear (5.13c) El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California (with Beth Rodden).
(FFA) West Buttress (5.13c), El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California.
(FFA) Dihedral Wall (5.14a), El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California.
The Nose (5.14a), El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California (3rd/4th ascent with Beth Rodden).
(FFA) Linea di Eleganza (5.12c), Fitzroy, Argentine Patagonia (with Topher Donahue and Eric Roed).
(FFA) Magic Mushroom (5.14a), El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California (with Justen Sjong).
(FFA) The Shining (5.13+), Mount Louie, Banff, Alberta, Canada (with Sonnie Trotter).

Other El Capitan free ascents: Salathe, Freerider, Golden Gate, El Corazon, Zodiac, Muir Wall.

Date of Birth: 8/11/78

Hometown: Estes Park, CO

Years Climbing: 30

Earliest Climbing Memory: 3 Years old climbing Twin Owls with my dad so I could fly my kite on top.

Weirdest and Best Experiences: Getting kidnapped in Kyrgystan and having to push our captor over a cliff to get free. On a lighter note best experience has definitely been marrying my wife, Becca, in 2010.

Top Videos: “Dreamland” Documentary, For the California board of tourism. Flying Wild Alaska episode on the discovery Channel.

What's in the earbuds? I have been listening to Josh Garrels album Love War and the Sea Between for a solid month.

What's on the nightstand? I am currently reading Great by Choice By Jim Collins and 7 years in Tibet.

Additional Sponsors: Patagonia, La Sportiva, Black Diamond, BlueWater ClimbOn, Revo


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