top of page

Free Climbing The Freerider, 512d 31 pitches El Captitan


Lani on the final real pitch before topping out The Captain!


Okay here we go, the story of how two 5.9+ climbers freed the Freerider. (Not really but 12b was the hardest grade I had ever climbed beforehand and let’s be real 5.9+ intimidates us all). We spent 9 days on the wall, even though we had planned for 7. Between a heavy rain storm, waiting for good conditions, and projecting a few pitches, it was a pretty slow ascent. It was important to us to go ground up, with no “rapitaning,” meaning we didn’t rappel in to dial in the pitches beforehand. We had been on the route once before, last spring supporting our friend Kevin on his send and checking out the climbing. On one hand we were surprised by how doable a lot of the pitches felt, on the other hand a few felt nearly impossible, mainly the Monster, Boulder Problem and Scotty Burk. Red pointing 5.12 2000ft off the ground also sounded pretty insane. Since the Freerider had been the climbing goal for me since learning what El Cap was, we started scheming about training for the Fall.


Beta: Hopefully this post can also serve as some beta for future parties. Many pitches on the Freerider have tons of beta, but a few key ones don't. Please feel free to reach out to me for more detailed beta! I've marked heavy beta spots with "Beta" so that if you are just here for the story you can skip over them.