Sunday, 07 June, 2020

Alex Honnold talks with NPR about overcoming fear after historic climb

Alex Honnold talks with NPR about overcoming fear after historic climb Alex Honnold talks with NPR about overcoming fear after historic climb
Vera Richards | 09 June, 2017, 03:32

Remember, climbing up a cliff without ropes isn't the safest thing in the world.

The climb, which National Geographic said may be the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport, was captured by a team of filmmakers, led by Jimmy Chin, one of Honnold's longtime climbing partners, and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, for an upcoming National Geographic Documentary Films feature.

The magazine "National Geographic" financed Alex Honnold's daring mission and, with the help of drones, filmed a documentary about his record attempt.

Tommy Caldwell, a legendary climber and El Capitan record-holder, told National Geographic that Honnold's achievement is "the moon landing of free-soloing". He had trained for the challenge for over a year, and first attempted the climb last November - but put the brakes on it after an hour because conditions "didn't feel right".

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Honnold said that to prep for his climb, he practiced the route many times to memorize every move and maneuver necessary to reach the top. The climber also knows El Capitan very well. It's something that I thought about for so long and dreamed about and worked so hard for.

"Honestly, I think this is the most satisfied I've ever been", Honnold said in a post-climb interview with National Geographic. As a climber, it's an incredible feeling to register the sheer size and scale of the walls all around you. He first wrote about the potential record-setting climb in his journal in 2009 - but he repeatedly found reasons to set it aside, as he said past year on the Basecamp podcast with Gripped editor Brandon Pullan. No ropes, no harness-just hands, feet and mental fortitude.

Honnold came into view for those in the meadow on the fourth pitch of Freeblast.

Honnold added, "That's before the [main] wall even starts".

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