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“That Felt Insecure for Me”-Legendary Rock Climber Alex Honnold Opens Up About Dangerous Move During Famous Climb of El Sendero Luminoso

Published 05/14/2022, 8:30 AM EDT

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Free Solo- while these two words might be a source of happiness for many, they are two of the most daunting words in rock climbing. It easily stands for no rope, no different compatriot, just one man, solo climbing on an enormous wall. But, Alex Honnold, who is arguably the best rock climber in the world, loves free soloing.

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In a recent YouTube video, Alex talks about what went through his mind during the climb of El Sendero Luminoso.


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Alex Honnold explains the tough climb

Honnold has been a legend in the rock climbing fraternity for a while now. A bag full of startling climbs and loose harnesses, he conquered a lot of cliffs. With an innovative haircut and a goofy grin, Alex has been fighting against gravity for some time, overthrowing some of the toughest cliffs on planet earth. 

The North Face athlete’s significant achievement in recent times was the climb he made on El Sendero Luminoso. Talking about the same in an interview, he opened up on a crucial moment involving an important foothold point during the climb.


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“And so I was climbing and then I got to a certain move that was, that felt insecure for me and I had to trust foothold I didn’t wanna stand on. It’s like I could hear all these tourists at the summit, and it was this whole crazy experience.”

Honnold also admitted that he felt scared and had been free-soloing for over two hours at the point. It was both physically and mentally exhausting for the rock climber. “Ultimately, I just like sorted through it, and I stepped on the foot, and you know, I did it,” Alex said. Just hearing the account of his superhuman climb sends chills down the spine of many. Now, imagine being the one to do it!

The Legend that is Honnold

On 3 June 2017, Alex free-soloed the free-rider route on the El Capitan in Yosemite. He became the first and only person to achieve the feat. The New York Times summed up this feat in the best way possible. They mentioned it was not an act of recklessness; instead, a planning equivalent to a moon landing.


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Later on, a movie called ‘Free Solo‘ covered Alex’s climb on El Capitan. It gained a lot of fans, and they started noticing the rock climbing feats of different people. 

Some of his other achievements are:


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  • Speed record in 2018 of The Nose, El Capitan with Tommy Caldwell, 1:58:07
  • Solo of Yosemite Triple Crown, Mt. Watkins, El Cap, Half Dome, in 18h 50m
  • Special Mention of Piolets d’Or for outstanding contribution to climbing in 2017
  • Golden Piton Award for achievements in climbing, 2010

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Naman Gopal Srivastava

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Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.