Solo climber is 1st up mighty California rock without ropes

Marcus Newton
June 5, 2017

In a story documenting Honnold's climb, National Geographic said Honnold may have completed, "the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport".

Alex Honnold completed the "free solo" climb Saturday in almost four hours, according to National Geographic, which documented the historic ascent.

Alex Honnold has become the first climber to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite, by climbing Freerider. It's extremely unsafe, and few climbers do it on long routes like El Capitan because one slight mistake or slip means sure death.

El Capitan is considered by many the finest big-wall on earth, and is an iconic destination for climbers worldwide. Honnold took a route on El Capitain called Freestyle, which as Uproxx noted, usually takes four days to scale.

A free-solo climb on smooth granite face almost a mile-and-a-half high means there's no margin for error.

In 2014, he became the first person to free climb the challenging El Sendero Luminoso route.

We connected with Alex Honnold for a quick interview on his goals for climbing this year.

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But El Capitan posed a whole new challenge for him. One of them is ropeless, free solo rock-climbing up enormous rocks.

'It's like walking up glass, ' Honnold said.

"With free-soloing, obviously I know that I'm in danger, but feeling fearful while I'm up there is not helping me in any way", Honnold told the magazine.

In preparation for the climb, the 31-year-old trained for over a year in China, Morocco, Europe and the United States, and allegedly made an earlier attempt in November, but backed off due to unfavorable conditions. He also carried out a Memorial Day weekend climb - with ropes -to prepare for Saturday's climbs.

There were so many little sections where I thought 'Ugh - cringe.' But in the years since, I've pushed my comfort zone and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally insane eventually fell within the realm of the possible. "I mean, it's pretty satisfying".

Honnold started up Freerider (5.12d), a winding, 3,300-foot-long route, at 5:32 a.m. PDT after spending the night in his van and eating a light breakfast of "oats, flax, chia seeds and blueberries", according to National Geographic. has reached out to Honnold for further comment.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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