'Most proud person in the world': MN woman on hand for brother's historic climb


As Sandy Van Nieuwenhuyzen of Rochester waited for her brother to finish the last portion of what some consider the most difficult rock climb in the world, she told the Associated Press: "I feel like the most proud person in the world right now."

Van Nieuwenhuyzen was at Yosemite National Park to see her younger brother, Tommy Caldwell of Estes Park, Colorado, complete a 3,000 foot free climb up the sheer granite pedestal El Capitan, using a route known as Dawn Wall.

As Caldwell's 19-day climb neared its end, Van Nieuwenhuyzen told the AP she actually had nothing to say to her brother: “Just hug. No words necessary,” she said.

There are about 100 different routes to the top of El Capitan. Dawn Wall had been scaled before, but never by free climbers like Caldwell and his friend, Kevin Jorgeson.

Free climbers rely entirely on their hands and feet to move then up the rock – using equipment only to catch them in a fall.

Since starting their climb on Dec. 27, Caldwell and Jorgeson had slept, eaten, and nursed their cuts and other injuries in tents suspended from the granite face of El Capitan.

Caldwell has had a years-long obsession with Dawn Wall, which he explains in a clip from a forthcoming documentary on the history of rock climbing in Yosemite called "Valley Uprising."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.