The Nose on El Capitan rises 2,900 vertical feet off the ground. To put that in perspective, that is over a half of mile of rock climbing.
The Nose was first climbed in 1958 by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore in 47 days using siege tactics. Basically, they would hit their high point and come back down each day until they reached the top.
Two years later, the second ascent by Royal Robbins, Joe Fitschen, Chuck Pratt and Tom Frost was one continuous push that took seven days. A vast improvement on the style beforehand.
It wasn’t until 1993, when the legendary Lynn Hill would become the first person to free climb (climbing without pulling on gear) The Nose in just four days. She returned a year later and climbed it in a day.
This year, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold broke the speed record by climbing the route in 1 hour and 58 minutes.
Style gets better as time goes on. When you’re a pioneer, when you’re setting the standard for the rest of us, it might not be pretty. With time, however, you can improve the standard, you can raise the bar.
Revolutions destroy the unimaginable and unlock the impossible. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about climbing revolutions or cultural ones. Forward, we can improve on the matter of how things are done.