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Amity Warme

Amity Warme and Brent Barghahn make free repeat of El Niño on El Capitan, Yosemite


American climbers Amity Warme and Brent Barghahn have made a free repeat of El Niño - Pineapple Express (5.13c, 25 pitches)⁣ on El Capitan in Yosemite, USA.

Amity on El Niño
Amity fighting through the wet Lucy the Labrador pitch on El Niño
Credit: Nelson Klein

Originally posted by Planet Mountain

American climber Amity Warme is quietly but quickly racking up an impressive number of free ascents on El Capitan in Yosemite. After climbing both Freerider and Golden Gate in spring 2021, and El Corazon in spring 2022, she returned later that season with habitual climbing partner Brent Barghahn to complete a single day ascent of El Cap. In order to complete what is rightly considered the “gold standard” in Yosemite big wall climbing, the pair chose Freerider once more.

A few weeks ago Warme and Barghahn booked another free ascent on the Big Stone, namely El Niño via the Pineapple Express. This is Sonnie Trotter’s 3-pitch variation to the line established by Thomas and Alexander Huber in 1998; Trotter climbed this in a day in autumn 2018 with Tommy Caldwell and since then this all-free variation is becoming the norm. Warme and Barghahn required 8 days for their free ascent and like with all her previous big walls in El Cap, Warme climbed the route ground-up.

After the effort Warme, a sports dietitian, commented:

“This is the fourth different free route I have climbed on El Cap and it certainly felt like a step up in difficulty and intensity. It requires a full repertoire of skills including technical face climbing, steep roof pulling, thuggy compression bouldering, and delicate slab dancing. Some pitches are five star quality while others are loose, scary, and crumbly - culminating in a full value mental and physical challenge.

Over an 8 day ground-up push, Brent Barghahn and I climbed Pineapple Express, the variation that allows El Niño to go completely free. We weathered out a storm, an injury, and a wet crux pitch but dug deep and both succeeded in pulling off a zero asterisks send. We had a blast up there and I’m grateful for the opportunity to complete another mega route on the Big Stone!

Kudos to Sonnie Trotter for the FA of this free variation to El Niño as well as the first ascensionists of the original line. What a vision to imagine a route up this wild, steep, adventurous side of El Cap!”

Originally posted on Planet Mountain.