Alex Honnold is one of those people who fascinates and intrigues me.
He’s the world’s greatest free solo climber.
Free Solo Climbing: “Free solo climbing, also known as free soloing, is a form of free climbing where the climber (the free soloist) forgoes ropes, harnesses and other protective gear while ascending and relies only on his or her physical strength, climbing ability, and psychological fortitude to avoid a fatal fall.” —Wikipedia
The craziness and sheer impossibility in what Alex Honnold is related to his accomplishments, like climbing El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park WITHOUT a rope or any means to ensure his safety in case he falls.
In the world of free soloing, if you fall once, you’re dead.
And Alex Honnold has free soloed El Capitan and Half Dome many times and in record times. Where other expert rock climbers climb Half Dome in a day or two, he has climbed Half Dome in 2-3 hours free soloing.
The thought of doing this at all is completely mind boggling, but regardless, he is an inspiration and an example of someone setting out to do the unthinkable, the impossible, and achieving it.
Note: I’d been reading a climber’s blog called No Way Down. Fascinating read about climbing El Capitan (with the proper climbing gear) and other ascents. Though I probably will never do any rock climbing myself because of my priorities, I am fascinated by the serious rock climbers who tackle the big walls. This blog features lots of pics and videos of the climbs.