Tommy Caldwell

Instagram.com | IFSC-Climbing.org | en.wikipedia.org | tommycaldwell.com

Quick Info

Nationality: US
Date of birth: 11th August 1978
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8A+
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a+
Hardest Trad (Worked): E10
Notable Partnerships
Beth Rodden
Chris Sharma

A legendary figure in American climbing. As a youth he established himself as one of the new wave while repeating many of America's hardest climbs alongside Chris Sharma.

He went on to establish many of his own hard routes, notably Flex Luthor which some now consider to be the first 9b in America.

He has also contributed an astounding number of hard free climbs to Yosemite. The pinnacle of these efforts is The Dawn Wall which opened up a new level of difficulty in big wall free climbing.

Other notable achievements include the Fitz Traverse, a full traverse of the FItzroy range in patagonia, completed with Alex Honnold in 2014. Tommy has at at various points held many speed records for Yosemite big walls.

In August of 2000 Tommy was on a trip to Kyrgyzstan with fellow climbers Beth Rodden, John Dickey and Jason 'Singer' Smith. They were kidnapped and held hostage for 6 days, only escaping when Tommy pushed one of their captors over a cliff, believing he had killed them (though it subsequently emerged that the captor had survived the fall).

Interestingly Tommy only has 3 fingers on his left hand, having lost the index finger "in a home remodelling accident" in 2001.

References

[1] http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2016/1/5/tommy-caldwell-dawn-wall-yawn-wall

[2] AMA on reddit.com/r/iama, September 2018 https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/9fkki7/we_are_tommy_caldwell_a_climber_who_spent_6_years/

Contributors: remus

Quick Info

Nationality: US
Date of birth: 11th August 1978
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8A+
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a+
Hardest Trad (Worked): E10
Notable Partnerships
Beth Rodden
Chris Sharma

A legendary figure in American climbing. As a youth he established himself as one of the new wave while repeating many of America's hardest climbs alongside Chris Sharma.

He went on to establish many of his own hard routes, notably Flex Luthor which some now consider to be the first 9b in America.

He has also contributed an astounding number of hard free climbs to Yosemite. The pinnacle of these efforts is The Dawn Wall which opened up a new level of difficulty in big wall free climbing.

Other notable achievements include the Fitz Traverse, a full traverse of the FItzroy range in patagonia, completed with Alex Honnold in 2014. Tommy has at at various points held many speed records for Yosemite big walls.

In August of 2000 Tommy was on a trip to Kyrgyzstan with fellow climbers Beth Rodden, John Dickey and Jason 'Singer' Smith. They were kidnapped and held hostage for 6 days, only escaping when Tommy pushed one of their captors over a cliff, believing he had killed them (though it subsequently emerged that the captor had survived the fall).

Interestingly Tommy only has 3 fingers on his left hand, having lost the index finger "in a home remodelling accident" in 2001.

References

[1] http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/2016/1/5/tommy-caldwell-dawn-wall-yawn-wall

[2] AMA on reddit.com/r/iama, September 2018 https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/9fkki7/we_are_tommy_caldwell_a_climber_who_spent_6_years/

Contributors: remus

Podcasts


Pics + Vids

Added at 18:12 on 19 December 2021
The Nose (8b+)
Added at 06:05 on 25 May 2021
The Nose (8b+)
Added at 06:05 on 25 May 2021
Super Tweak (8c)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 10:09 on 08 September 2021

Ascents

14 recorded ascents.

Year Climb Grade Style Date
1997 Super Tweak 8c Lead | worked 1997
1998 Necessary Evil 8c+ Lead | worked 1998
Second ascent.
To Bolt or Not to Be 8b+ Lead | worked Apr 1998
1999 Kryptonite 9a Lead | worked 1999
First ascent.
2000 Lurking Fear 8b+ Lead | worked Jun 2000
First ascent. With Beth Rodden.

First free ascent.

On the second pitch:

No single move is crazy, but for thirty minutes your feet are just sliding off the holds, so it’s more of a mind test. [1]

And the crux seventh pitch:

It’s probably a 5.13a slab to a really hard three-move section. Finally one day my foot just didn’t slip. I got the body position just right and I got through it. [1]

and the grade:

At the time I’d never heard of a slab harder than 5.13c so we just rated it that, I think in modern grade it would be firmly into 5.14.

References

[1] https://www.climbing.com/places/how-hard-can-slab-climbs-actually-get/

2001 Turn That Frown Upside Down 8A+ Boulder | worked 2001
2002
2003 Flex Luthor 9a+ Lead | worked 2003
First ascent.

The hardest route in the US before Chris Sharma established Jumbo Love to establish the first 9b in the US.

2004 Dihedral Wall 8b+ Lead | worked May 2004
First ascent.
2005 The Nose 8b+ Lead | worked 2005
With Beth Rodden.
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012 Magic Mushroom E10 Lead | worked 2012
First ascent. With Justin Sjong.

First free ascent.

2013 The Path E9 Lead | worked Jul 2013
2014 The Dawn Wall 9a Lead | worked Between 27th Dec 2014 and 14th Jan 2015
2015
2016
2017
2018 The Nose 8b+ Simul | worked 6th Jun 2018
With Alex Honnold. 01hrs 58mins.

A new speed record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdOzbM_7GMI

2019 Passage to Freedom 8b Lead | worked Between 28th Oct 2019 and 31st Oct 2019
First ascent.
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Flex Luthor 9a+ Lead | worked 2003 9a+
First ascent.

The hardest route in the US before Chris Sharma established Jumbo Love to establish the first 9b in the US.

Kryptonite 9a Lead | worked 1999
First ascent.
The Dawn Wall 9a Lead | worked Between 27th Dec 2014 and 14th Jan 2015
Necessary Evil 8c+ Lead | worked 1998
Second ascent.
Super Tweak 8c Lead | worked 1997
Lurking Fear 8b+ Lead | worked Jun 2000
First ascent. With Beth Rodden.

First free ascent.

On the second pitch:

No single move is crazy, but for thirty minutes your feet are just sliding off the holds, so it’s more of a mind test. [1]

And the crux seventh pitch:

It’s probably a 5.13a slab to a really hard three-move section. Finally one day my foot just didn’t slip. I got the body position just right and I got through it. [1]

and the grade:

At the time I’d never heard of a slab harder than 5.13c so we just rated it that, I think in modern grade it would be firmly into 5.14.

References

[1] https://www.climbing.com/places/how-hard-can-slab-climbs-actually-get/

Dihedral Wall 8b+ Lead | worked May 2004
First ascent.
To Bolt or Not to Be 8b+ Lead | worked Apr 1998
The Nose 8b+ Lead | worked 2005
With Beth Rodden.
The Nose 8b+ Simul | worked 6th Jun 2018
With Alex Honnold. 01hrs 58mins.

A new speed record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdOzbM_7GMI

Passage to Freedom 8b Lead | worked Between 28th Oct 2019 and 31st Oct 2019
First ascent.
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Turn That Frown Upside Down 8A+ Boulder | worked 2001
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Magic Mushroom E10 Lead | worked 2012
First ascent. With Justin Sjong.

First free ascent.

The Path E9 Lead | worked Jul 2013
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade