- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two men attempting what’s been called the toughest rock climb in the world have separated as one climber battles a tough section of exposed granite in California’s Yosemite National Park.

Kevin Jorgeson of California and Tommy Caldwell of Colorado have been scaling 3,000-foot El Capitan, the world’s largest granite monolith, for 12 days using just their hands and feet. If they finish, they would be the first to climb the half-mile Dawn Wall route using ropes only to catch their falls.

The route has 32 sections, called pitches. Caldwell’s wife’s blog says he reached Pitch 18 Wednesday and aimed to finish Pitch 20 Thursday. But Jorgeson is fighting Pitch 15, which has sharp holds that are ripping the skin off his fingers.

Once Caldwell hits a rare ledge, he’ll wait for Jorgeson.

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