Climber: Scaling El Capitan is about mental prep

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 5, 2017

National Geographic reports Honnold completed the ascent this morning, Saturday, June 3.

El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California. This ascent marks the pinnacle so far of Honnold's breathtaking CV, and is undoubtedly one of the most significant ascents in the history of the sport.

One false move, would have sent the daredevil plummeting to his death.

An American daredevil has completed a feat considered the rock-climbing equivalent of the Moon landing, scaling a 3,000ft high cliff face without ropes or safety gear.

The climb and preparation have also been documented for an upcoming National Geographic magazine feature. Caldwell would know difficulty: In 2015, with a partner and safety gear, he scaled the Dawn Wall, considered El Capitan's most hard route.

Honnold used only his bare hands and the sticky rubber on his climbing shoes to ascend the thousands of feet of vertical stone.

Suffice to say, it is extremely risky. The route was the obvious choice for a solo ascent, being the "easiest" way to free climb on El Cap, at 5.12d (equivalent to f7c/+). It's extremely risky, and few climbers do it on long routes like El Capitan because one slight mistake or slip means sure death.

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

It was his second attempt to crack El Capitan.

The route usually takes about four days to climb.

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

Perhaps Honnold's most significant escapade to date was the 'Triple Crown, ' where he soloed the three biggest walls in Yosemite, climbing free and using aid. 'It's only hindering my performance, so I just set it aside and leave it be'.

Free-soloing is the practice of climbing without a harness or rope, leaving zero margin for error.

'Years ago, when I first mentally mapped out what it would mean to free solo Freerider, there were half a dozen of pitches where I was like, 'Oh that's a scary move and that's a really scary sequence, and that little slab, and that traverse, ' Honnold said. "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".

"Alex was on fire", Caldwell told National Geographic of the ascent.

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