New Nose Record (July 2008)

Updates on The Nose speed record ascent by Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine.

IT'S A RECORD!!! 2:43:33

July 2, 2008, the boys broke the record this morning by about two minutes. It was a zoo. For a fun virtual visit, check ou the NPR report on the record. John McChesney gives the blow-by-blow (er hold-by-hold). As a non-climber, he describes the King Swing as the most dangerous part of the climb. It was the most exciting part of the climb, but simul-climbing 5.11 with little gear between them was the part that made the climbers in the crowd nervous. The pièce de résistance is when they playback Jackie putting on her best old crone voice and saying "Honey, you bring me home that record today!". This is a must listen.

Anyway, there was more hooting and hollering in the meadow than ever and again a bit of a nail-biter. Hans asked me to put this up here because he has to get driving to pick up the kids and get to work tomorrow. Between the numbers Chris Gonzales and Jackie took down, he has extensive splits and when he gets back to normal life, I'm sure he'll have some sort of message here (UPDATE: Hans' account is here).

So much to tell. I wish I could remember the quote from Tom Frost (second ascent and de facto speed record holder for the Nose in 1960 with a time of seven days), but essentially he said it was exciting and this is what it's all about. He had the greatest "why speedclimb" quote: "Once you've climbed something, you always want to climb it in better style and going faster is one way to do it in better style. Then some guys get competitive and pull their watches out." That's a rough paraphrase, but he said it the NPR guy, so maybe the real quote will be on All Things Considered. And speaking of which, in addition to the legendary Tom Frost, present were journalists from the San Francisco Chronicle (who really kicked of the media circus and got the others interested), NPR, New York Times, Fresno Bee and perhaps others, Hans' old track coach Tom Henderson drove up from Fresno for it, lots of Bay Area friends, Mike Tollefson the superintendent and of course a large cadre of climber types. It's kind of crazy, and great, that a climbing event would get that much coverage. I've never seen anything like it.

Hands down, the quote of the day came from a young girl (about 7 or 8) who said: "The record's ours! Watch out!" So perhaps in 15 years or so, she'll be making speedclimbing news.

Hopefully in the next few days, Hans will be back and giving news first hand.


Top secret, elite athlete recovery training.


THIRD RUN. June 29th. Hans and Yuji smoked the Nose in 2:47:30. This was a personal record for them and only about two minutes shy of the mark set by the Hubers.

SECOND RUN. June 26th: [your on the spot correspondent Tom from Hans via cell phone]. Hans and Yuji took a second run at it today, clockin in at 3:28:58. I only got a brief chat with Hans from the top of the Nose so I didn't get any details, but he did ask me to say thanks to Holly, Lorna and Soska(?) for letting them by on the Great Roof (sorry if I didn't get that last name right over the fuzzy cellphone connection).

Hans had a few Hansish factoids:

  • 16: number of minutes it took Hans and Yuji to get to Sickle when they broke the record.
  • 12: number of minutes it took the Hubers to get to Sickle when they broke the record.
  • 20: number of minutes it took the Hans and Yuji yesterday
  • Camp 6: where Yuji was at 2:45 (i.e. the record time)
  • 43: number of minutes it took them to top out from Camp 6.

And the story got big coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle today.

June 24th: NEW PICS. Yuji leading the Great Roof yesterday, and the boys with 1991 record holder Steve "Shipoopi" Schneider (with Hans - 8:05). Tom Evans Photos.

June 23rd: Hans stopped in Monday after the climb and got some beta on ways to improve speed from Yosemite legend Tom Frost (speed record holder in 1961 - 7 days!).

June 23rd: Tune-up this morning went down in 4:48. Hans goes back to the office Tuesday and Wednesday, then they're back at it on Thursday with another tune-up (anticipating 3 - 3 1/2 hours). Sunday morning will be full bore.

June 22nd: Yuji arrives at the Fresno airport at 4pm. Hans plays with the kids in the pool then drives to Yosemite. Tune-up run tomorrow.

June 20th: Dispatch from Hans: "Thursday the 19th I climbed 15 routes in the gym, three of them cracks. My last workout before our recon trip on Monday the 23rd."

Hans would like to THANK:

Yuji and Hans near the top


for the "normal" NOSEINADAY.COM

for the "normal" SPEEDCLIMB.COM





Tom Evans does the El Cap Report on Supertopo Forums (unfortunately it can take a bit of hunting to find the current report).

To subscribe to the mailing list, simply send a message from the email you would like added to:

Give the gift of SPEED! and