Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure

Posted on January 31, 2016 in ClimbingFree SoloClimbersAlex Honnold

Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of AdventureToward’s the end of last year Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure was released. I had pre-ordered it and read it pretty quickly since I’ve always followed Alex Honnold’s exploits. As a climber I’m amazed by solo climbers, particularly the newer generation since they seem to be getting better at staying alive. Personally, I don’t plan to become a hard core soloist as I have no interest in causing myself death or serious injury any time soon. However, I don’t mind soloing something that is within my limits. What those limits are is continually changing as I improve my grade and climbing ability.

The inside cover of the book reads

Alex Honnold is thirty years old, and perhaps the world’s best ‘free-solo’ climber, scaling impossible rock faces without ropes, pitons or support of any kind. There is a purity to Alex’s climbs that is easy to comprehend, but impossible to fathom; in the last forty years, only a handful of climbers have pushed ‘free soloing’ to the razor-edge of risk.

Half of them are dead.

From Yosemite’s famous Half Dome to the frighteningly difficult El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico, Alone on the Wall is structured around Alex’s seven most extraordinary climbing achievements so far. These are tales to make your palms sweat and your feet curl from vertigo. Together, they get to the heart of how - and why - Alex does what he does. Exciting, uplifting and truly awe-inspiring, Alone on the Wall is a book about the essential truths of risk and reward, and the ability to maintain a singular focus, even in the face of extreme danger.

I really enjoyed this book as it’s a very easy read and I like the style in which it is written where sections are personally written by Alex himself. I knew plenty about Alex’s solo climbs in Yosemite but in the book he talks about his climb of El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico which is 2,500 feet high. It’s 11 pitches graded at 7a+ or harder, here’s the clip of this amazing send

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