Kendal Mountain Festival are delighted to welcome Tommy back for 2017. One of the nicest guys in climbing, Tommy says his dad taught him to embrace fear and doubt and turn them into inspiration. Given this attitude, Tommy established some of the world's hardest routes and free climbed 12 routes on El Capitan in Yosemite. He believes difficult journeys, with little chance for success, teach him the most. This attitude is no better exemplified than by his first free ascent of Dawn Wall in January 2015, and his first ascent of the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia in February 2014.
- First free ascent of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan, Yosemite, California
- First ascent of the Fitz Traverse, Chaltén massif, Patagonia
- First free ascent of El Capitan’s Muir Wall, Yosemite, California
- First free ascent of El Capitan’s Magic Mushroom (VI 5.14a), Yosemite, California
- First free ascent of El Capitan’s Dihedral Wall (VI 5.14a), Yosemite, California
- First free enchainment of El Capitan’s Nose and Freerider routes, Yosemite, California
- First ascent of The Honeymoon is Over (V 5.13), Longs Peak, Colorado
- First ascent of Flex Luthor (5.14d/15a), Fortress of Solitude, Colorado
- First free ascent of Linea di Eleganza (VI 5.11b A3 M7), Fitz Roy, Patagonia
Tommy Caldwell catapulted to international fame free-climbing the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan with Kevin Jorgeson, an event that hit the headlines around the world; even Barack Obama was moved to pick up his phone and tweet the duo.
But Tommy's story goes much wider and deeper than a single route. His engrossing memoir chronicles the journey of a boy with a fanatical mountain-guide father who was determined to instil toughness in his son, to a teen whose obsessive nature drove him to the top of the sport-climbing circuit. Tommy's affinity for adventure then led him to the world of big-wall free climbing. But his evolution as a climber was not without challenges; in his early twenties, he was held hostage by militants in a harrowing ordeal in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Soon after, he lost his left index finger in an accident. Later his wife, and main climbing partner, left him. Caldwell emerged from these hardships with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. He set his sights on free climbing El Capitan s biggest, steepest, blankest face the Dawn Wall. This epic assault took more than seven years, during which time Caldwell redefined the sport, found love again, and became a father.
The Push is an arresting story of focus, drive, motivation, endurance, and transformation; we're delighted that Tommy is joining us in Kendal once more, to give us an inside track on the book.
“The Push is the most insightful book about climbing I’ve ever read, and quite possibly the most enjoyable. Whether Caldwell is explaining his astounding feats on vertical terrain, or the agony of trying to sustain a doomed relationship, or the merits of what he calls ‘elective suffering,’ the writing is consistently captivating and unfailingly honest.” Jon Krakauer - author of Into the Wild and Into thin air.
Saturday 18th Nov 19.30 - 21.00 Brewery Arts Centre - Malt Room