New Zealander, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Libby Sauter of the U.S. shattered the female speed record on El Capitan’s The Nose by climbing it in 5 hours and 39 minutes on September 29, 2013, only two days before the federal government shutdown closed Yosemite National Park. They managed to beat out the previous record which was set last fall by Smith-Gobat and Chantel Astorga by more than 1.5 hours. The last record was also almost three hours faster than the previous women’s speed mark set by Quinn Brett and Jes Meiris.
Smith-Gobat has done very well to prove that women can take on the same difficulty levels of climbing as men. Just a week before breaking the female speed record on the Nose, Smith-Gobat climbed the Nose faster than any female ever when she teamed up with Sean Leary for a 3-hour and 30-minute blitz up the formation as stated by Hans Florine to Rock and Ice.
Future goals for Smith-Gobat include being the first woman to free-climb a link-up of both El Capitan and the 2,400-foot Half-Dome in less than 24 hours. And ultimately, she wants to set the speed climbing record for the Nose for both men and women. The time to beat (Hans Florine and Alex Honnold’s speed record): 2 hours 23 minutes and 46 seconds. With the rate at which Smith-Gobat’s going, it shouldn’t be too long before that record is set.
We can only hope that this federal government shutdown, that has wreaked havoc on the livelihood of many across the country and access to national parks, doesn’t last too much longer. Although it doesn’t seem to be keeping some away from climbing as stated and shown in this article from Rock and Ice.