If you want to add a gut-clenching, mind-reeling, equilibrium-wrecking experience to your day, here’s a video for you. Famed rock climber Alex Honnold scaled Yosemite’s famed El Capitan—a 3,000-foot rock wall that is a legendary challenge for climbers of any skill level—with no ropes.
In fact, Honnold didn’t have much more than a bag of chalk for the entirety of his four-hour climb, which took him 3,000 (three thousand!) feet in the air with, and this point bears repeating, no ropes. No harness. No net. Nothing between him and the ground, steadily inching away from him hand hold by hand hold, over a period of four hours, death growing ever more certain with by the second.
“This is indisputably the greatest free solo of all time,” said Alipinist magazine which, sure, if greatness is judged purely on the basis of how utterly unreasonable something is.
Photo by @jimmy_chin | Renowned rock climber @alexhonnold climbs Yosemite’s El Capitan on Saturday making the first rope-free ascent of the iconic 3,000-foot granite wall. It is arguably the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport. He ascended the peak in three hours, fifty-six minutes, taking the final moderate pitch at a near run. Under a blue sky and few wisps of cloud, he pulled his body over the rocky lip of the summit at 9:28 a.m. PDT. A team of filmmakers, led by @jimmy_chin, one of Honnold’s longtime climbing partners, and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, captured the ascent for an upcoming National Geographic Documentary Films feature. You can read Mark Synnott’s exclusive account of the climb, which was more than a year in the making, on nationalgeographic.com or by swiping up on our Instagram Story. #history #elcapitan #yosemite
The whole thing was filmed by National Geographic (by cameramen who, presumably, had ropes) for an upcoming documentary, one that should be rated W for WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.