clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alex Honnold free climbs Yosemite’s El Capitan 3,000 foot vertical face. No safety equipment.

One of the greatest feats ever.

Mike Powell

I’m a big Yosemite enthusiast (I’ve hoofed up Half Dome and it’s a character builder) but if you’ve ever seen the sheer granite face of El Capitan, Honnold’s climbing achievement boggles the mind.

Climbing that face with ropes and safety equipment is extremely technical and challenging and it takes elite climbers days to ascend it.

In just under four hours, using only his limbs and a little chalk with no safety equipment of any kind, where the slightest mis-step would result in a horrible death, Honnold scaled El Capitan and became a legend forever.

Think Roger Bannister breaking the four minute mile - by running a 3:00 instead of a 3:59. And if Roger hadn’t hit that time, he falls 2500 feet and splatters.

That fall would take around 20 seconds, by the way.

I’m in absolute awe of Honnold. This is Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbing Everest. This is Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier. If you want to learn more about Honnold and the Yosemite climbing masters, I strongly suggest checking out the Netflix documentary Valley Uprising.