Free Solo Blueprint: Behind the Climb That Put Alex Honnold on the Map

Honnold gave the climbing world one of his first major free solos with ‘Sendero Luminoso’ back in 2013. Now, you can look behind the scenes of the landmark ascent.

It’s simpler to climb without a rope, sure — but that doesn’t mean it takes any less work.

By and large, successful free soloists don’t just walk up to high-standard routes, chalk up, and pull on.

When Alex Honnold soloed El Potrero Chico’s “El Sendero Luminoso,” (1,500 feet, 5.12+) in 2013, it took a lot more than that.

Watch the world’s most famous rock climber and his ubiquitous buddy Cedar Wright negotiate the huge challenge from every angle in this short from Ceedy.

Runtime: 17 minutes

Alex Honnold free solo
Climbing Coach Pete Whittaker on How Alex Honnold Soloed El Cap
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Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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