El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end. The granite monolith extends about 3,000 feet from base to summit along its tallest face and is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers and BASE jumpers.
El Capitan is composed almost entirely of granite, a pale, coarse-grained granite emplaced approximately 100 mya . In addition to El Capitan, this granite forms most of the rock features of the western portions of Yosemite Valley.
Once considered impossible to climb, El Capitan is now the standard for big-wall climbing. "El Cap" has two main faces, the Southwest and the Southeast. Between the two faces juts a prow.
The Nose was first climbed in 1958 by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore in 47 days using "siege" tactics: climbing in an expedition style using fixed ropes along the length of the route, linking established camps along the way.