National Geographic put together this sweet 25 minute talk with super climbers Alex Honnold, Mark Synnott, and photographer Jimmy Chin. They discuss climbing in exotic locales. I recommend putting it on in the background while you do other things. It’s like a rad podcast that comes with a video you can ignore.
The Climb tells the story of paraplegic Luca Galimberti as he takes on Monte Rosa mountain, a 12000 ft peak, in a cross-country sledge. This one socks you right in the heart. Don’t watch it at work if you don’t want anyone to see you cry. Or maybe watch it at work and cry in front of everyone. Real mountain men and women don’t hide their emotions.
It’s adorable the way mainstream media covers things like this. It always has the same tone: “Well look at what these wacky people are doing!”
We posted the teaser of this the other day. Here’s the whole thing. One long video of Alex Honnold staying alive, against all odds. Wow.
Just watching this short clip of Alex Honnold soloing El Sendero Luminoso made my heart race. That is just straight down. Holy cow. That guy is nuts. Honnold is an eloquent dude, but man, he’s nuts. Thank God I’m not him. From now on, every morning I’m going to wake up and give thanks that I’m not Alex Honnold. Things could always be worse. I could be 1000 feet up a sheer rock wall, wondering how I got myself into this terrible situation. But no, it’s OK. I’m not Alex Honnold. I don’t spend hours on end in life-threatening danger. On purpose. All my problems are on the ground problems. They don’t accelerate at 9.8 m/s/s. Thank God I’m not Alex Honnold.
This clip is cool, though.
In this new interview series from Black Diamond, climber and famous free soloist Alex Honnold explains what risk means to him. In typical Honnold fashion, he’s thoughtful and eloquent, while sprinkling words like “sketchy” throughout his answers. He makes a good distinction between risk and consequence, and calls free soloing a building for TV “super fun and pretty casual.”
(Note: Turn closed captions ON if you’d like to understand this video)
David Lama and Dani Arnold make a first ascent of Bird of Prey, a new alpine line on the east face of The Moose’s Tooth in Alaska. Those Europeans ran out of first ascents on their continent, and now they think they can come over here and take all of ours? Yes. Turns out they can. They sure earned this one. The route is beautiful, and they knocked it out in less than 48 hours. Well done, guys. But maybe save an easy one for me? Maybe like one that you wouldn’t even consider climbing because you’d think it was too easy?
Matt Kuehl got tired of the crowds at the crag, so he decided to go off and explore wide cracks. Here, he takes us on a tour of everything he can wedge himself into. There’s a free solo at the end that’s kind of crazy. Off-width climbing and free soloing are crazy on their own. What kind of mad man combines them?
Most climbing videos stress epic struggles and amazing achievements. V19 boulder problems get sent after a year of hard work. Huge mountains are summited after treacherous adventures full of near-death experiences. I love that stuff, but I don’t relate to it. I climb to have fun. The guys in this video are the Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra of having fun in the mountains. They call their pantomime cover band Shred All Fears, and they put the rock in rock and roll.
Ashima Shiraishi has been crushing difficult climbs since she was 8. Now she’s 12, and she’s finishing routes most of us can’t even dream of starting. In this video, she eats boulder problems in the Gunks and describes how climbing has changed for her since she started at 6 years old.
On a personal note, I climb at one of the gyms where Ashima trains. Our climbing schedules line up often. She is amazing to watch. The other day I was mid-boulder problem when Ashima ran up and saw that I was blocking the route she was looking to climb. I could feel her impatience from the wall. It was refreshing to see someone so excited to climb a boulder problem in the gym that they couldn’t wait another minute. Of course, I was struggling on a V4, and then she flew up something twice as hard, probably as a warm up.