4. SUMMIT BOLT LADDER
The final eight pitches involved short-fixing, a technique in which the leader, in this case Potter, scrambled 40 to 60 feet ahead of his partner and secured the rope with clove-hitch knots, enabling O'Neill to run up the rope rather than have to navigate the pitch hold by hold. This gave O'Neill a much-needed break of sorts after leading through the Great Roof.
3. THE GREAT ROOF
O'Neill Led on the most technical and dangerous pitches, notably the Great Roof (5.13c grade). This overhang is the only section of the Nose in which the partners simul-climbed, or pulled on their equipment to ascend rather than using it merely to secure their rope. To save time O'Neill placed cam hooks—which fasten into a crack when pressure is applied—in the Roof's fingernail-thin fissures.
2. THE STOVELEG CRACKS
Potter says the critical factor in setting the new record was a reduction in gear weight. When the duo reached Stoveleg Cracks on their Oct. 15 ascent, Potter found it was more effective to jam his fists into the five-inch-wide fissure than to insert a large camalot, which fans out when placed in a crack. A cam weighs about one pound, but every pound counts. On Nov. 2 Potter and O'Neill eliminated five pounds of weight.
1. INITIAL ASCENT
On Nov. 2 Potter and O'Neill simul-climbed more than 80% of the route. While simul-climbing, the two were separated by some 70 feet of rope; the leader placed pieces of protective gear—daisy chains, camalots and other gadgets that secure rope in case of a fall—and the trailer retrieved them from the rock face. It's a risky technique. If O'Neill, the trailing climber at the start, had slipped, he would've pulled Potter down too.