On Father's Day, when most dads were lounging in a La-Z-Boy or working the buffet at their favorite restaurant, Hans Florine was reclaiming a world record.
Florine, whose first speed climb was performed nearly 25 years ago on a 20-foot boulder in a cow field, required only 2 hours, 23 minutes and 46 seconds to scurry up the vertical face of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite.
Blazing past the 2:36.45 record set in 2010 by Sean Leary and Dean Potter -- who had eclipsed Florine's 2008 time of 2:37.05 -- Florine and his climbing partner Alex Honnold, a Sacramento native, shaved nearly 13 minutes off the world's best time.
"I turned 48 and I wanted to do it on my birthday, but a lot of people wouldn't have been able to watch, so we chose Sunday," Florine says, in a phone interview June 18. "Plus, it was a weekend and early enough in the season so it wouldn't be too hot for the people watching."
Their biggest advantages, he says, came from polishing their approach to the route and on an improbable factor -- rest.
"We took 2 ½ days of rest, and that rest helps a 48-year old," said Florine, who runs the Diablo Rock Gym in Concord. "Alex was chomping at the bit, but he knew I needed it."
Honnold, whose solo free climbs to the top of various surfaces have earned him a recent interview on "60 Minutes" and an article in The New York Times, has sometimes been called "crazy".
"There have been other climbers as talented, but
After setting the new world record for a sprint up The Nose, what does a 48-year old speed climber say about the future?
"I'm not going to do a faster time. If someone else breaks my record, I'm OK with letting them keep it. I'm done with The Nose. I told my mom and my wife that, before they could tell me. In some ways, it's like retiring. But I'm only retiring from that particular record -- there'll be others to go after."