Alex Honnold is widely considered to be the world’s greatest free soloist climber. Nathaniel Rich’s review of Honnold’s autobiography in the current issue of The Atlantic is vivid, but nothing can convey his astounding ability like seeing it in motion:
You get queasy too? Watch the full six-minute version here. Many readers with climbing experience are responding to Rich’s book review. This one offers a paean to Honnold:
Alex is among the most highly evolved humans on our planet. He has found a balance between skill, fear, and challenge that few people will ever attain or understand. The highlighted solo climbing that he does is so peaceful, controlled, and pure, he resembles a supernatural creature. Honnold doesn’t care much for fame or bragging, although it is an acceptable side effect. He does this because it is fun, and it makes him feel good. He has reached a state of happiness only few will ever reach.
Thrive on Alex!
Another reader brings the sport a little bit down to earth:
Almost all solos are done after climbing the route many, many, many times beforehand, to the point where the climbing is so easy, it would be like you climbing a ladder to change a light bulb.