Alex Honnold Explores Climate Change in New Show for Nat Geo

Nat Geo’s upcoming docuseries, On the Edge, will follow climber/activist Alex Honnold as he explores some of the world’s most remote climbing — and the alarming toll of climate change along the way.

Alex Honnold is the world’s most famous rock climber. But he’s also an active environmental advocate who puts his money where his mouth is through initiatives like The Honnold Foundation. In his new show, both of his vocations are set against the stark landscape of Greenland.

On the Edge With Alex Honnold follows Honnold as he explores some of the biggest unclimbed cliffs and peaks in Greenland. The show will also delve into the country’s status as a crucible of climate change. Its massive ice sheet has undergone significant melting events over the last few years, and it recently rained on the ice sheet’s peak for the first time in recorded history.

Because Greenland’s landscape is changing so rapidly, it presents unique challenges to adventurers. In the series, Honnold and his team will negotiate objectives and obstacles ranging from icebergs to moulins (glacial sinkholes), unstable virgin rock walls, and ice storms. The team’s biggest challenge will be an attempted first ascent of Peak 3342, one of the country’s highest points.

alex honnold greenland climbing show
Kangerlugssuup Sermerssua glacier in west Greenland; (photo/Denis Felikson, University of Texas)

During the expedition, Honnold will also discuss the impacts of climate change with scientists on the front lines. In a statement, the Oscar-winning free soloist expressed his excitement about the project and the possibilities it represents.

I’m very excited about the opportunity to explore the climbing while also sharing some of the local impacts of climate change with a global audience. Our changing climate is the biggest issue facing humanity and I hope that this will help inspire people to take action.

Makers behind the series announced the project at the 2021 TCA junket earlier this summer. Still in its pre-production stages, On the Edge With Alex Honnold will air on Disney+.

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Sam Anderson

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.