Tommy Caldwell & Kevin Jorgeson after completing the historic Dawn Wall free-climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Jan. 14, 2015.
Bligh Gillies—Big UP Productions/Aurora Photos
January 14, 2015 8:33 PM EST

The American climbers finished their “free-climb” to the top of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, becoming the first to complete what has been considered the world’s most difficult rock climb. The two began on Dec. 27 and used only their strength, ropes and safety harnesses—in the event of a fall—as they made their way up.

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