Tim Neville reports in the New York Times with exclusive access granted him by Alex Honnold:
Honnold was attempting something no one had done before: climb the three biggest rock faces in the California park in succession, alone, and in less than 24 hours. Dubbed the triple, the task would mean scaling the sheer walls of Mount Watkins, El Capitan and Half Dome for a total of about 7,000 vertical feet of rock. For all but about 500 feet of it, Honnold planned to climb with no ropes or safety equipment at all. One mistake and he could die.
I first heard of Alex Honnold, the sport of rock climbing’s rock star, on a “60 Minutes” episode January 1st. My family was wrapping up a vacation in Key West, and our attention spans had little left. Yet, we sat rapt, watching this crazy man scale sheer cliff face with no safety apparatus whatsoever. (Note: This article originally misspelled Honnold, “Connold” in the first sentence of this paragraph and the first sentence of the next paragraph. We regret the error.)
Apparently, Mr. Honnold has taken his game to new heights.
“There is nothing in sports that compares to this,” said John Long, who in 1975 was the first to scale El Capitan in a day with his partners Billy Westbay and Jim Bridwell. (Most people need about five days). “The physical exertion alone is amazing.”
And now I am feeling like a total wuss for not getting Saturday’s Groupon for an indoor rock climbing class.
Photo by: Kevin