Lattice Blog

How A Competition Climber Became the FIRST Brit to Free ‘The Nose’

Tune in to today’s episode as host and coach Maddy Cope chats with climber and coach  Billy Ridal about his six-week American adventure to free climb El Capitan’s The Nose (5.14a/8b+). This historic route, famous for its challenging granite smears, was first aid climbed over 47 days by Warren Harding and various others in 1958 and first free-climbed by Lynn Hill in 1993 (an ascent which was well ahead of it’s time!) With such a legacy, it’s no surprise Billy and Alex set their sights on it.

Billy shares how his long-held dream of climbing big walls led him to El Cap, where he and his partner Alex Waterhouse etched their names in history as the first Brits to free climb The Nose. From weathering storms in a leaky portaledge 1,500 feet above the ground to making the most of daylight with early starts, Billy recounts their journey.

Topics Include:

  • What inspired Billy and Alex to take on The Nose’s challenge
  • How they got stuck in the two main crux’s of the route
  • Their plan if one of them couldn’t climb a specific pitch
  • How they used innovative thinking to overcome various weather conditions
  • The highs and lows of portaledge life
  • Maintaining high morale under time pressure

And much more!

Tune in for this captivating episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more! Hear firsthand the amazing story of determination, friendship, and triumph on The Nose.

The Lattice jingle is brought to you by Devin Dabney, music producer of the outdoor industry who also hosts the American Climbing Project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *