Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Solo climber Alex Honnold conquered 3000ft El Capitan without ropes

Sean Gallup  Getty Images
Yosemite’s El Capitan Sean Gallup Getty Images Yosemite’s El Capitan
Steve Phelps | 06 June, 2017, 06:09

In solo climbing, the climber does not use ropes, harnesses or any protective gear. He shared a photo of himself on the Yosemite National Park landmark taken by Jimmy Chin of National Geographic, which is basing a new documentary on Saturday's climb.

Honnold is first to climb the iconic rock alone without protection.

Listen, I don't know crap about rock climbing, much less what constitutes a really impressive climb versus a somewhat impressive climb.

Honnold has also spent more than a year training for climb at locations across the globe, from China to Morocco, as well as around the US.

"He's shown awesome grace under pressure", said Hans Florine, a fellow climber who with Honnold holds the speed record for climbing the Nose route of El Capitan in about two hours and 23 minutes. "Getting over that side of it was the hardest part".

Honnold became the first person to scale El Capitan free solo-climbing without equipment-an accomplishment that National Geographic called "the moon landing of free-soloing".

Tommy Caldwell called it "a generation defining climb, badass, and beyond words", and added, "I sure am glad it's over". "It's only hindering my performance, so I just leave it aside and let it be".

This is the first time a rock climber has ascended El Capitan without a rope.

On Instagram, Honnold was flooded with messages of support from other climbers.

"Holy...." he tweeted in response to National Geographic's announcement of the climb.

Honnold's preparation for the exploit was the subject of rumor even as it was written off as impossibly daunting and risky.

"Each year I'd come (to Yosemite) and look up at the wall", he told the San Francisco Chronicle in a telephone interview.

We tracked down Pete Whittaker, who rope-soloed Freerider last November for a comment on Honnold's ascent and all we could get out of him was: "Holy shit sticks!". This was a generation defining climb.

"I've been overwhelmed by the well wishes I've received post El Cap", he wrote.

"I didn't have much of a backpack, and the climbing just felt wonderful".

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