Interview with Duracell’s Kevin Jorgeson, first to free climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

kevin-jorgeson-duracell-el-capitan

It may not rain, it may not be cold or windy…but it always gets dark. In the outdoors, light is essential. Experts trust Duracell Quantum to provide dependable power in the dark because it lasts longer in 99% of devices.

During Kevin Jorgeson’s free climb of El Capitan, he trusted Duracell Quantum to power him through the night so he could climb in the dark and be one step closer to reaching the top.

We spoke to Kevin about his epic 19-day climb, the wear and tear on his body and his partnership with Duracell.

How are your hands? I’m worried about your hands.

I wish I could say you could still see the battle scars, but unfortunatel,y they are all healed. I was actually quite sad when they healed because it was the last physical remnant and evidence of the climb, you know? Now it is literally all memory.

How did you partner with Duracell? 

I’m pretty selective on all my partnerships and I try to work with companies that I am already using their products. So that includes my climbing shoes, my harnesses, the equipment we use to stay on the wall, and that goes for batteries too. So when we started this conversation, it was a natural fit. I had been using Duracell for years, we even had them up on the wall (of El Capitan). It was something that already existed, and it just meant that now we’d be able to tell that story.

What does “free climbing” mean? Does that mean you walk up to a mountain and climb it, with nothing?

No, the word “free” kind of messes with people’s perception. Really, it’s climbing as you would imagine climbing — it’s just climbing. 99% of climbers are free climbing. Meaning we climb, but we use equipment to catch us if we fall. And we fall a lot. It took us six years to put this thing together. Six years of a lot more failure than success. It wasn’t like we just walked up and climbed this thing. We started working together on this in 2009.

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