Renowned climber Alex Honnold recently shocked the climbing world by becoming the first person to ever complete a free solo ascent of El Capitan—a 3,000-foot granite monolith in the heart of California’s Yosemite National Park.
Free soloing is a form of rock climbing that prohibits the use of ropes and other safety equipment.
National Geographic‘s Jimmy Chin was along to document the historic achievement, and today the magazine released a 30 second video clip of the climb.
The clips shows Honnold clinging to the side of El Cap with no safety equipment, the forest floor of Yosemite sprawling out in all directions thousands of feet below.
“I don’t think the mountain looked that scary this morning,” Honnold told National Geographic Magazine after the historic climb. “Everything felt the same. I didn’t have much of a backpack, and the climbing just felt amazing. Not dragging 60 meters of rope behind you for the whole mountain, I felt so much more energetic and fresh.”
Photo by @jimmy_chin | Renowned rock climber @alexhonnold climbs Yosemite’s El Capitan on Saturday making the first rope-free ascent of the iconic 3,000-foot granite wall. It is arguably the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport. He ascended the peak in three hours, fifty-six minutes, taking the final moderate pitch at a near run. Under a blue sky and few wisps of cloud, he pulled his body over the rocky lip of the summit at 9:28 a.m. PDT. A team of filmmakers, led by @jimmy_chin, one of Honnold’s longtime climbing partners, and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, captured the ascent for an upcoming National Geographic Documentary Films feature. You can read Mark Synnott’s exclusive account of the climb, which was more than a year in the making, on nationalgeographic.com or by swiping up on our Instagram Story. #history #elcapitan #yosemite
In the wake of Honnold’s climb, the rock climbing community reacted with shock but mostly with respect and awe at the magnitude of what he had been able to achieve.
Alpinist Magazine called Honnold’s feet “indisputably the greatest free solo of all time,” while climbing legend Conrad Anchor took to Facebook to say simply, “This man. Respect. Life goal realized.”