Alex Honnold pushes himself (arguably) farther than anyone else before him. He has successfully climbed some of the world’s most challenging climbs as free solos (without harnesses or ropes). In the world of climbing, even his peers marvel at how smooth and comfortable he is on the rock. In October 2011, 60 Minutes aired a segment that featured a climb of Chouinard-Herbert.
Watching Honnold from the ground, John Long (one of the best rock climbers in the world in the 1970’s) remarked, “Right when he pulls into that crack, that’s like the point of no return. It becomes world class right there. And he’s– he’s in it now…you’re not gonna reverse it. It’s too hard. That’s– that’s the– that’s the one thing you gotta understand on these things. Once it gets to this level, the only way off is up. You’re not– you’re not going back down. It’s just too difficult.”
Amazingly, Honnold is at ease on the rock. Yet, as I entered her office Friday to resign, feet firmly on the ground and no doubt that I was making the right decision, my stomach was in knots. I knew the gravity of my decision. From that moment forward…I was in it now.
How does he do it?