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'Pretty Rock, Pretty Steep': Even Hike Up El Capitan Is No Small Feat

NBC’s Miguel Almaguer hikes up to the summit of El Capitan, hoping to meet the two men making a historic free climb to the top using their hands and feet.

Thank goodness for short cuts.

NBC’s Miguel Almaguer hiked up to the summit of El Capitan on Wednesday, hoping to meet the two men making a historic free climb to the top using just their hands and feet.

Almaguer finished the 8-mile path in 10 hours — a far cry from the 19 days the climbers have spent scaling the sheer face of granite rock in California's Yosemite National Park. But along the way he saw and experienced some of the elements the climbers are enduring.

"It's pretty rocky, pretty steep. ... It's also quite breathtaking," he said. "It is certainly tough and taxing work."

The climbers, Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell, reached the summit Wednesday afternoon, making them the first people to have achieved such a feat without tools.

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— NBC News