Two rock climbers are on the verge of making history in Yosemite National Park.
Kevin Jorgeson, 30, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, are attempting to free climb the nearly 3,000-foot-high Dawn Wall of El Capitan, the park's legendary granite monolith. While the two men are using ropes to prevent them from falling to the ground, they are not using ropes to aid in the climb.
If Jorgeson and Caldwell succeed, they will become the first to do so, a feat that could happen as soon as this afternoon, according to Jess Clayton, a spokesperson for Patagonia and a sponsor of Caldwell.
The pair began the climb on Dec. 27, and have been sleeping in tents attached to the granite face of El Capitan. Other climbers, using aids, have been bringing them supplies and photographing the journey.
At times, the progress has been painstakingly slow. Jorgensen fell 11 times during a weeklong effort to complete one especially difficult section of the route, according to The Associated Press.
"Momentum is a powerful force," Jorgensen wrote on Facebook. "When it's on your side, everything feels a bit easier. When it's not on your side, it feels like wading through mud."
Jorgenson wrote on Twitter that the feat was not about "conquering" El Cap.
If the two make it to the top, they plan to spend the rest of the day with family and will speak to the media on Thursday at the El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite Valley, Clayton said.
"I am really feeling the Yosemite love these days," Caldwell wrote on Facebook on Jan. 11. "After a lifetime of climbing here I am still struck by the grandness and beauty of this place."