April 13, 2022

Ep83: Alex Honnold "Free Solar"

Alex Honnold is one of the world’s best rock climbers, famous for his free solo ascents of big walls, including his 2017 first free solo of El Capitan in Yosemite.

Alex began studies in engineering at the University of California-Berkeley but dropped out to pursue his passion for climbing, living out of his van. He first attracted attention within the climbing community in 2008 when he became the first climber to free solo Half Dome in Yosemite. In 2012 he established the speed record for the Yosemite Triple Crown, climbing three big walls in under 19 hours. With Hans Florine, Alex climbed the popular Nose of El Capitan, a nearly 3,000-foot granite wall, in a record time of two hours 23 minutes and 51 seconds – a feat National Geographic described as perhaps " the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport."

Alex has been profiled by 60 minutes and the New York Times, appeared on the cover of National Geographic and starred in numerous adventure films. In 2015, together with professional climbing writer David Roberts, he authored Alone on the Wall, the story of seven of his greatest climbing feats up to that year.

In 2012 Alex founded the Honnold Foundation to provide solar power to some of the disadvantaged communities he was coming across in his climbing career. In 2021 the Foundation supported 44 communities across 17 countries with its brand of community-centered innovation catalyzed by solar energy.

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Further reading:

Free Solo - trailer


Free Solo – website


The Ascent of Alex Honnold – CBS special report with Lara Logan


Eduro Corner – the most exposed move of Alex’s Free Solo climb of El Capitan


Honnold Foundation


Project Bo


Project Bo - lessons learned