Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure
Alex Honnold, David Roberts
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
'Riveting...Honnold is neither crazy nor reckless. Alone on the Wall reveals him to be an utterly unique and extremely appealing young man.'
A twelve-year-old kid in the audience raised his hand and asked, 'Aren't you afraid you're gonna die?'
Without missing a beat, Alex shot back, 'We've all gotta die sometimes. You might as well go big.'
Alex Honnold is 28 years old, and perhaps the world's best 'free solo' climber, scaling impossible rock faces without ropes, pitons or and support of any kind. There is a purity to Alex's climbs that is easy to comprehend, but impossible to fathom; in the last forty years, only a handful of climbers have pushed 'free soloing' to the razor edge of risk.
Half of them are dead.
From Yosemite's famous Half Dome to the frighteningly difficult El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico, Alone on the Wall is structured around Alex's seven most extraordinary climbing achievements so far. These are tales to make your palms sweat and your feet curl with vertigo. Together, they get to the heart of how - and why - Alex does what he does. Exciting, uplifting and truly awe-inspiring, Alone on the Wall is a book about the essential truths of risk and reward, and the ability to maintain a singular focus, even in the face of extreme danger.
age five or six, I broke my arm for the first time. I’d decided it would be fun to run down the slide at Carl’s Jr.—my favorite restaurant. I went over the edge. The docs called it a green twig radius fracture, whatever that is. I broke my arm a second time at age seven or eight. This was a really pitiful accident—in fact, it’s hard to describe how I fucked up. There was a big rope that was part of a play structure in our backyard. It was meant be a rope swing, but I rigged it as a tightrope,
squall came over the mountain from the north. Mark and I settled in to the portaledge, while Conrad tried to push the route above. In his Men’s Journal article, Mark played this up as do-or-die drama—which is what the magazines want: Massive waterfalls were now pouring off the cliff, and the gully below started to roar as it transformed into a raging rapid. Even if we had wanted to bail, there was no way out but up. Above, I could hear muffled yelling, followed by an alarming amount of rockfall.
bring out the best in the other, complementing one another’s particular strengths as climbers. And they got along like great friends just hanging out and having a good time, even when they were in the midst of a serious battle. Even as a teenager in Sacramento, I was aware of Tommy Caldwell’s stellar record in big-wall climbing. He seemed to specialize in first free ascents of routes on El Cap, including the Dihedral Wall and Magic Mushroom, both rated 5.14a. Yet he’d also excelled as a sport
climbers. The morning of the solo, nobody said much of anything, because they didn’t want to influence me one way or another. Earlier, though, everybody had assured me that I should climb only what I felt comfortable with, and that they could shoot any other, easier route if I changed my mind. But it was hard not to feel a little pressure. We’d rented a small casita sitting atop a hill above one of the many camping areas, which provided a glorious view of the whole area. That morning I opened
ref5 Zig-Zags, ref1, ref2, ref3 Renault, Thierry, ref1 rime ice, ref1, ref2, ref3 Robbins, Royal, ref1, ref2, ref3 Robert, Alain, ref1 Roberts, David, ref1, ref2, ref3 Robinson, John, ref1 Rock and Ice, ref1, ref2, ref3 rock climbing genre divisions of, ref1 techniques of, ref1, ref2, ref3 Rockefeller Center, New York City, “Lunch atop a Skyscraper,” ref1 rock route ratings, scale of difficulty, ref1, ref2, ref3 Rodden, Beth, ref1 Roed, Erik, ref1 rope drag, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4