1958: Warren Harding climbs the Nose
1958: Warren Harding climbs the Nose El Capitan soars 3,000 vertical feet above the Yosemite Valley. The climbing community once considered the granite pillar insurmountable. Warren Harding proved otherwise. He was the first climber to lead a team up a route known as the Nose, which today is considered one of the great classics of “big wall” climbing. Harding worked on the project over two climbing seasons – a collective 47 days – and finally managed to reach the top in November 1958.Courtesy of the Yosemite Climbing Association
1958: Warren Harding climbs the Nose
1961: Royal Robbins scales the Salathé Wall
1964: Conquering the other side of El Cap
1970: Warren Harding wrestles the Dawn Wall
1975: Jim Bridwell blazes up El Cap in a day
1988-1993: “Freeing” El Cap
1989: First paraplegic ascent
2000s: Tommy Caldwell free climbs
2015: Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free climb the Dawn Wall
1958: Warren Harding climbs the Nose El Capitan soars 3,000 vertical feet above the Yosemite Valley. The climbing commu

Courtesy of the Yosemite Climbing Association
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Rock Stars: See Historic Climbing Moments on Yosemite's El Capitan

Jan 15, 2015

On Jan. 14, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, two American climbers, scaled the fabled Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park using just hands and feet. The façade, located on the southeast side of the massive El Capitan rock formation, was widely considered an impossible climb without the help of ropes. Caldwell and Jorgeson’s story builds upon decades of record-breaking (and bone-breaking) climbs on El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley. Above are some of the trailblazers who paved the way for their success.

Two of those featured are Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell (no relation to Tommy), who over nearly 27 days in 1970 became the first to scale the Dawn Wall, though using ropes and rivets. In the video below, co-directors Nick Rosen and Peter Mortimer share with TIME an exclusive clip from the award-winning documentary Valley Uprising, which shows Harding and Caldwell's infamous 1970 ascent. The film, which will be available on Vimeo starting Jan. 15, documents the epic stories of the men and women who have made history conquering El Capitan over the past 50 years.

Read next: This week's TIME magazine article, Man vs. Yosemite

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