Feb 3, 2022
EP 127 - Alex Honnold
We are excited to have Alex Honnold on The Pretty Intense Podcast today. You will know him from the documentary "Free Solo", where he blew all our minds solo climbing El Capitan. You might think that Alex is crazy for attempting such a death defying climb. You will see in this interview that this is a very calm and clear thinking athlete, who sport is his art, his way of life, and you might think he is a risk taker, but actually he knows exactly what he is doing. As a result of spending so much time in beautiful nature, Alex has become passionate about raising awareness of climate change. Alex sees first hand the rapid change from the climate on the mountains he climbs, with a clear vision of where ignoring this change is headed. We talk about how important this topic is to him, especially with a child on the way. Alex has an exciting VR film coming out March 3rd with Oculus, and he also has a National Geographic series out. He uses all his platforms to try to make a difference, and contribute to the important cause of climate change awareness. We hope you enjoy meeting Alex the athlete, the personality, the Father to be and the nature activist.
Alex Honnold is a professional rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world. A gifted but hard-working athlete, Honnold is distinguished for his uncanny ability to control his fear while scaling cliffs of dizzyingly heights without a rope to protect him if he falls. His humble, self-effacing attitude toward such extreme risk has earned him the nickname Alex “No Big Deal” Honnold. This Sacramento, California-native’s most celebrated achievements include the first and only free-solos of the Moonlight Buttress (5.12d, 1,200 feet) in Zion National Park, Utah, and the Northwest Face (5.12a) of Half Dome (2,200 feet), Yosemite, California. In 2012 he achieved Yosemite’s first “Triple Solo”: climbing, in succession, the National Park’s three largest faces—Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and El Capitan—alone, and in under 24 hours. In 2017 Alex completed the first and only free-solo of El Capitan’s “Freerider” route (5.13a, 3,000 feet), a historic accomplishment which has been hailed by many as one of the greatest sporting achievements of our time. The story of this feat was told in the Academy Award winning documentary, FREE SOLO. Whether climbing with a rope or without, Honnold believes climbing is a fantastic vehicle for adventure, an opportunity to seek out those high-test moments with uncertain outcomes in which you’re forced to push through to survive. Though Honnold often downplays his achievements, his rope-less climbs have attracted the attention of a broad and stunned audience. He has been profiled by 60 Minutes and the New York Times, featured on the cover of National Geographic, appeared in international television commercials and starred in numerous adventure films including the Emmy-nominated “Alone on the Wall.” He is the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental non-profit.