The term “free solo” or “scrambling” is used to describe a rock climb without any safety equipment. Of course, only the best of the best use this tactic as a way to challenge themselves, as it is extremely dangerous. One little hiccup or gush of wind could send you falling to your death.
It was Honnold’s climb up El Capitan that may forever serve as a monumental occasion for the dangerous sport of rock climbing. Honnold’s friend and fellow elite climber Tommy Caldwell called “the moon landing of free soloing.”
Honnold’s roots sit firmly in Northern California. He found his climbing enthusiasm in Sacramento, where he was born and raised, before attending California Berkeley for a year. His stint at one of Northern California’s premiere colleges was cut short to become a full-time rock climber.
The many rock faces of Yosemite National Park have become a haven for Honnold. He broke the El Capitan speed record with Caldwell twice in 2018 and spends much of his summer months living out of a van in the park, practicing his climbing routes.
His physical abilities are apparent when you watch him climb, but the experts in rock climbing say it’s his uncanny ability to focus is what makes him the best rock climber in the world. Just think about it – he completed a 3,000 foot climb in four hours with no ropes while a documentary crew followed his every movement. Now that’s focus.