Revealing Routes on El Cap
1851: White men enter Yosemite Valley for the first time. The huge white monolith at the entrance to the valley impresses everyone and is quickly named El Capitan, Spanish for The Captain.
1953: The easternmost edge of El Cap sees its first climbers; Allen Steck and comrades climb the East Buttress in three days.
1958: Warren Harding and others finish the monolith's first big-wall route, the Nose. This epic adventure takes 47 days over a period of 18 months.
1961: The Salathi Wall, soon to be called the world's finest rock climb, is done by Royal Robbins, Chuck Pratt, and Tom Frost.
1964: The awesome southeast face is climbed for the first time; Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, Chuck Pratt, and Yvon Chouinard call their creation the North America Wall.
1965: Yvon Chouinard and TM Herbert climb the Muir Wall, the first time a rope of two does a new route on El Cap.
1968: The British arrive! Mick Burke and Rob Wood climb the Nose, making the 18th ascent and the first British one. Later in the year, Royal Robbins solos the Muir Wall; this, the first solo ascent of the monolith, is his eighth trip up El Cap in eight years.
1970: The Dawn Wall, just right of the Nose, is climbed in controversial style (330 bolts) by Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell in a single 27-day push.
1971: Joanna Marte becomes the first woman to climb El Cap; she is guided up the Nose by Royal Robbins.
1972: Jim Dunn climbs Cosmos alone, the first time a solo new route on El Cap is accomplished. Another young climber, Charlie Porter, climbs three new routes on El Cap this year.
1973: The first all-female ascent of El Cap is made by Bev Johnson and Sibylle Hechtel; they climb the Triple Direct.
1975: The Nose is climbed for the first time in a single day by Jim Bridwell, John Long, and Billy Westbay.
1978: Bev Johnson climbs the Dihedral Wall in 10 days, becoming the first woman to solo an El Cap route. Jim Bridwell, Dale Bard, and Dave Diegelman establish Sea of Dreams, a route with 16 A4 and A5 pitches.
1984: Wyoming Sheep Ranch, the first El Cap route with super-extreme aid climbing (A5+) is put up by Rob Slater and John Barbella.
1988: Todd Skinner and Paul Piana climb the Salathi Wall free at 5.13b.
1989: Mark Wellman, a paraplegic, follows Mike Corbett up the Nose, forever putting to rest the idea that "handicapped" people can't aspire to their dreams.
1990: Two El Cap routes are done in a single day. Peter Croft and Dave Schultz do the Salathi and the Nose in 18 hours.
1993: Lynn Hill accomplishes the first free climb of the Nose with partner Brooke Sandahl.
1994: Steve Schneider and Hans Florine do three El Cap routes in 23 hours: the Nose, Lurking Fear, and the West Face.
1996: Steve Gerberding makes his 80th trip up El Cap.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication