8-year-old boy becomes youngest to climb El Capitan in California
An 8-year-old boy became the youngest to complete the climb of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park on Friday, according to his father, who has been by his side and cheering him on since the couple began their journey. trip earlier this week.
Sam Adventure Baker achieved the feat Friday night, his father said in a Facebook post.
“What an incredible week! I’m so proud of Sam,” Joe Baker wrote in the post. “He did ElCap’s youngest ever rope climb!”
The duo have been climbing the rock since Tuesday as part of a four-person team, where one person climbs in front of the crew and sets the ropes for the others to follow.
Earlier Friday, the couple told CNN they will be hanging a banner on their way that reads, “I love you mom, I’m almost there.”
Rock climbing has long been a family activity – Sam was “in a harness before he could walk”, his father said, adding that his wife was also in love with the sport.
Sam’s mother, Ann Baker, told CNN she was supportive of Sam’s adventures.
“He seems really happy to be up there and morale is good,” she said.
After resting in a double sleeping bag, Joe and Sam will hike Saturday eight miles away from the face of El Capitan, according to the Facebook post.
“We’ll be in the afterglow for days,” Joe said.
El Capitan sits more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor, according to the Yosemite National Park website.
And throughout the four-day climb, Joe expected his son to cry “because it’s hard.” It’s emotional, but he’s been so tough and worked through it all.
Sam’s bravery is hardly a surprise. The young boy has been training for the historic feat for at least 18 months, his father said. The couple had also climbed Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park in Utah, which reassured her father that Sam was ready for El Capitan.
“He did a terrific job and really showed us that he could handle exposure,” Joe said.