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