The Intense World of Alex Honnold
Who is Alex Honnold?
“Alex Honnold is a professional adventure rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognised and followed climbers in the world.” But he is so much more than the most recognised and followed climbers worldwide. He is insane. And we mean that as the biggest compliment imaginable.
Alex Honnold, who self-identified as someone who is on the autism spectrum, made history by free soloing El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. To free solo is to climb without a rope, and Honnold had to memorize every inch of his path and choreograph even the smallest movements in order to succeed.
Alex Honnold’s Craziest Climbs
The list of Alex Honnold’s climbs could be a much bigger one, but these are some of the climbs that got the world talking!
The Nose of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
Photo by Lukas Schulz on Unsplash
El Capitan is one of the most iconic peaks in North America, and its Nose route is considered one of the most challenging climbs in the world. So when Honnold and Tommy Caldwell completed the climb in under two hours, it was truly remarkable. Honnold’s solo climb set a new speed record, clocking in at just under two hours. 1 hour, 58 minutes, 7 seconds to be exact. News of Honnold’s achievement made headlines around the globe, and the entire journey was captured in the critically-acclaimed documentary Free Solo by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.
Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
In 2008, Alex Honnold made history by becoming the first person to free solo the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. This grueling 22-pitch climb is one of the most difficult and dangerous in the world, but Honnold did it in just one hour and 22 minutes.
‘Yosemite Triple’ – El Capitan, Half Dome, and Mount Watkins, Yosemite National Park
Alex Honnold was attempting something that had never been done before: to climb the three biggest rock faces in California’s Yosemite National Park, one after the other, within a 24-hour period. This so-called “triple” would require him to scale the sheer walls of Mount Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome – a total vertical distance of approximately 7,000 feet. For all but 500 feet of this climb, Honnold relied solely on his own strength and skill, without ropes or any other safety equipment.
Fitz Roy Traverse, Monte Fitz Roy, Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina-Chile border
Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold made history in 2014 when they completed the first-ever ascent of the Fitz Roy Traverse. The route, which crosses seven peaks including Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Rafael Juárez, Aguja Saint-Exupery, and Aguja S, is widely considered to be one of the most complicated climbs ever attempted.
Moonlight Buttress, Zion National Park
On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, Alex Honnold made the historic ropeless ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This was the first time anyone had ever climbed the iconic rock formation without the use of ropes or any other safety gear. He was pretty under the radar then, but this was the climb that kind of got the climbing world talking about the new death-defying climber out there.
Photo by John Tuesday on Unsplash
What is Alex Honnold Doing Right Now?
Honnold and his wife Sanni McCandless Honnold welcomed their first child into the world a few months ago. Now that they’re settled in Las Vegas, Honnold is getting back to what he loves best – climbing big rocks! He wasted no time and jumped right back on the stone with Maury Birdwell.
Is Alex Honnold The Best Climber in The World?
Bouldering up to V12 is an impressive feat for any climber, professional or amateur. The best boulderers in the world can currently climb routes in the V16-V17 range, which means Honnold is still a few grades below the top climbers. However, his impressive skills should not be underestimated. Alex Honnold is one of the world’s best climbers. He excels at free soloing and speed climbing, two disciplines that require intense focus and skill.
Free solo climbing – the act of scaling routes without a rope or any other form of protection – is not only Honnold’s forte but his entire specialty. In this discipline, Alex is miles ahead of any other free solo climber of our generation, and could very well be argued as the best ever.
You might not be Alex Honnold, but you can still climb with us! Our licensed and experienced guides will watch you gain first-hand knowledge of the climbing techniques. They will get the climbing gear and make sure everyone is safe on every step while climbing. More experienced climbers will get the chance to improve their level of climbing and create memorable experiences while climbing surrounded by the stunning Marjan forest park.