Climbers Hans Florine and Alex Honnold scampered up the famed Nose Route of El Capitan as easily as a couple of picknickers making the hike out to Yosemite Meadows -- beating a previous record set on the legendary climb by more than 12 minutes.
The pair climbed the nearly vertical, 2,900 foot precipice in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 46 seconds, a "substantial" new record in light of the climb's level of difficulty. The previous record was 2 hours, 36 minutes, 45 seconds set two years ago by Dean Potter and Sean Leary.
Florine, 48, of Lafayette, has been engaged in a seesawing battle for best time up The Nose for the last 20 years. Honnold, 26, of Sacramento is a fearless climber known for mind-numbingly scary ascents up vertical faces -- without benefit of ropes or other climbing gear.
Bragging rights for fastest ascent up The Nose are often measured in mere seconds. Florine has been preparing for a new climb since Potter and Leary shaved 20 seconds of the time Florine set with partner Yuji Hirayama of Japan in 2008.
"Normal" climbers usually take three days to make their way up The Nose.