Kazuki Koga – The Salathé Wall
The Salathé Wall is one of the original technical climbing routes up El Capitan, a 3,000 feet (900 m) high granite monolith in Yosemite National Park. The Salathé Wall was named by Yvon Chouinard in honor of John Salathé, a pioneer of rock climbing in Yosemite. The route is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and considered a classic around the world.
The first ten pitches of the route are commonly known as “Free Blast” since they can be quickly climbed free at a 5.11 rating or less.
The first free ascent of a main El Capitan route was by the Salathé Wall. Todd Skinner and Paul Piana made the first free ascent over nine days in 1988, after thirty days of working the route (graded 5.13b by the Yosemite Decimal System). Its first female ascent was by Steph Davis in 2005.