Meet the Adventurers of the Year: Climber Alex Honnold
Each day we will feature one of the 2010 Adventures of the Year here on our blog. Get to know them all in our photo gallery, then vote for your favorite for the People's Choice award—every day. You can even vote for a new favorite each day, if you can't pick just one. Photograph by Corey Rich
Alex Honnold aced a record-breaking, climb-till-you-drop week in Yosemite.
Perhaps the most impressive detail buried in 25-year-old Alex Honnold's ridiculously large adventure in Yosemite this July was the eight-hour drive the Californian made to Los Angeles at the very end. At that point, he’d been up for 36 hours straight—spending a day first doing interviews and shooting a climbing video. And then, at 8 p.m., he and partner Shawn Leary climbed 3,000-foot El Capitan for 24 hours straight, summitting three times and breaking the speed record for consecutive ascents.
All told, Honnold and Leary had scaled more than 8,000 vertical feet, and hiked down another 9,000 for trips back to the valley. Honnold then scarfed dinner, took a shower, and hit the road, driving south to see his girlfriend. He’d been up 42 hours all told. “I didn’t even know I could do something like that,” he says of that two-day stretch. “I really pushed some limits that time.” That time.
Just a week earlier, Honnold had managed to scale the walls of both iconic Half Dome and El Cap, solo, in just over 11 hours, crushing the speed records for El Cap and the two routes consecutively—what’s known as the solo linkup. That outing, which left the climbing world slack-jawed with its audacity, was, as Honnold puts it, “just kind of fun.” Which begs the question: What can this kid climb if he really works at something? Probably anything. —By Ryan Bradley
Read more about Alex Honnold >>
- Nat Geo Expeditions