Photograph by Jimmy Chin, National Geographic
Alex Honnold has become the first person to free solo the Big Stone. On June 3rd, Honnold cruised Freerider’s (5.12d) 3,000 feet on the Southwest Face of El Cap, Yosemite in just under 4 hours.
“Honestly, I think this is the most satisfied I’ve ever been,” Honnold said in a post-climb interview with National Geographic. “It was exactly what I hoped for. I felt so good. It went pretty much perfectly.”
Tommy Caldwell called it “a generation defining climb, badass, and beyond words,” and added, “I sure am glad it’s over.”
@alexhonnold composed and casual free soloing (sans cord) 2000ft above the deck on the Enduro Pitch of Freerider yesterday. Alex’s process to prepare for his dream of free soloing El Cap has been an incredible, and sometimes stressful, journey to witness and be a part of over the last two years while filming him for a feature documentary (co-directed by @mochinyc). In some ways I expected (and prayed for) nothing less on his big day but it was still mind bending to see how relaxed he was in the final days leading up to the climb and of course during the climb – as seen here locked off reaching full extension with mere finger tips in contact to granite, feet smeared on nothing. What I’ve learned over the last 10 years about Alex is he isn’t the kid that shows up to do well on the exam. If it counts, he’s there to ace it, knock out the extra credit questions and finish early. I’d say he aced his final exam yesterday with extra credit for style and composure. When he got to the top, he looked at me and said “I’m pretty sure I could go back to the bottom and do it again right now.” Congrats bud. You crushed. It was historic, it was brilliant, it was moving beyond words. Thanks to all of Alex’s climbing partners who supported along the way and especially to one helluva film crew for staying committed through thick and thin doing some of the best work I’ve ever seen. So so proud of everyone. See the @natgeo link in my bio for more.