The North Face: Alex Honnold – El Sendero Luminoso
The sport of free-soloing is easy to understand. He went up this giant base without a rope. If he falls, he dies. I’d heard about it years ago, it was like the hard mountain route down here, the big, hard multi-pitch that was like the test piece. I mean, it’s always just represented the next step in technical climbing to me. It might be too scary, but I’m going to put a bunch of work into it and kind of figure out whether or not it’s even possible. It’s just kind of weird helping your friend do something that you know could potentially lead to his death. Alright. Up day. Cleaning the route a little bit, pulling off some of the vegetation, and just sort of sussing it out a little bit. Kept on picturing myself without a rope and then I’d get really scared. [chuckles] How’s the condition of the route currently for soloing? Quite damp. It’s sub optimal. I mean, all it takes is you grab one small hold and it pops off the wall and you fall to your death, you know. So when I was cleaning the wall for Alex, I was like I’m cleaning every little things, you know. I was like anything that looked loose or any little piece of dirt I was trying to clean it off the wall, because I obviously want my buddy to live. Do you feel like you’re slipping a little? It’s a bit of a ‘thank God’ moment, right? Well, a little bit. At some point during the day while I was up there with Cedar I was just like I’m ready, like I’m sick of hanging around on ropes. It went from, like, being sort of an intimidating idea to just being, like, I’m kind of excited to do this. Now we’re going to see, see what happens up there, but… Another good day. Has anybody stepped outside, how is it? It’s cool, it’s a little more chilly today, and it’s a slight breeze.