YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A pair of Americans completed what had long been considered the world's most difficult rock climb Wednesday, using only their hands and feet to scale a 3,000-foot vertical wall on El Capitan, the forbidding granite pedestal in Yosemite National Park that has beckoned adventurers for more than half a century.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson became the first to free-climb the rock formation's Dawn Wall, a feat that many had considered impossible. They used ropes and safety harnesses to catch themselves in case of a fall, but relied entirely on their own strength and dexterity to ascend by grasping cracks as thin as razor blades and as small as dimes.