American Rock Climber Famous for “Free-solo” Ascents, Author
Alex Honnold will speak during the General Scientific Session on Sunday, October 17, and will sign books immediately following his lecture.
Alex Honnold is a professional rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world. A gifted but hard-working athlete, Honnold is distinguished for his uncanny ability to control his fear while scaling cliffs of dizzying heights without a rope to protect him if he falls.
His humble, self-effacing attitude toward such extreme risk has earned him the nickname Alex “No Big Deal” Honnold.
This Sacramento, California, native’s most celebrated achievements include the first and only free-solos of the Moonlight Buttress (5.12d, 1,200 feet) in Zion National Park, Utah; and the Northwest Face (5.12a) of Half Dome (2,200 feet), Yosemite, California. In 2012, he achieved Yosemite’s first “Triple Solo”: climbing, in succession, the National Park’s three largest faces—Mt. Watkins, Half Dome, and El Capitan—alone, and in under 24 hours. In 2017, Alex completed the first and only free-solo of El Capitan’s “Freerider” route (5.13a, 3,000 feet), a historic accomplishment which has been hailed by many as one of the greatest sporting achievements of our time. This achievement was captured in the Oscar-winning film "Free Solo."
Whether climbing with a rope or without, Honnold believes climbing is a fantastic vehicle for adventure—an opportunity to seek out those high-test moments with uncertain outcomes in which you’re forced to push through to survive.
Though Honnold often downplays his achievements, his rope-less climbs have attracted the attention of a broad and stunned audience. He has been profiled by "60 Minutes" and The New York Times, featured on the cover of National Geographic, appeared in international television commercials and starred in numerous adventure films including the Emmy nominated "Alone on the Wall."
Honnold is sponsored by The North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, and Goal Zero. He is the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental non-profit. And, to this day, he maintains his simple “dirtbag-climber” existence, living out of his van and traveling the world in search of the next great vertical adventure.