"Free climb" refers to NOT using the protection to actually pull up on (aid climbing). The route is 5.6 or 5.7 - pretty easy as far as "free climbs" go. In fact most of the climb is only about 5.0 or less - but it is so intermixed with the harder climbing that most people just keep roped up. If you mean "free solo" - just scrambling up with no gear- yes that has been done. In climbing rating, the exposure (air under you - the gulp factor) makes no difference - it is the technical difficulty of the hardest move on the climb. Does not matter if that move is 2 feet off the ground or 1,000 feet. The climb is one of the "50 classic north American climbs".