San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Rock Climbing

Costa Rican sets milestone upon reaching summit of Yosemite National Park's notorious El Capitán alone

Alejandro Soto on Tuesday became the first Costa Rican to climb alone to the summit of El Capitán, an iconic rock formation in Yosemite National Park in the U.S. state of California, according to media reports. Soto climbed 550 vertical meters over six days along the Zodiac route to reach the peak.

One of Costa Rica’s most decorated climbers, Soto made the climb alone with ropes, a first for a Central American, reported the daily La Nación. Sleeping along the climb involved securing a hanging sleeping bag from the granite face and dangling several hundred meters off the valley floor.

The ascent was not without incident. Rainstorms rushed into the valley and sidelined Soto. On the fifth day of his climb at the Devil’s Brow one of his cam hooks failed, and he fell several meters before his rope caught him, according to the climbing blog La Stone that has been chronicling the adventure.

This was not Soto’s first climb at El Capitán, but it was his first solo attempt. In 2012, Soto and Gino Negrini were the first Central American team to scale the monolith.

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