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Rock Climbing : News : Ascents : Honnold Free Solos Half Dome

Honnold Free Solos Half Dome


Submitted by camhead on 2008-09-10

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 6 | Comments: 26 | Views: 8976

by Paul unknown


On September 6, 2008, Alex Honnold free-soloed the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome, a 23-pitch 5.12a route.

More details at: alpinist.com

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26 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 churningindawake
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 2008-09-10
He's insane. But thats awesome.
 munky
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 2008-09-10
WTF!! If this is true then climbing has definitely progressed into the next level.
 wmfork
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 2008-09-10
I hope this guy lives and climbs for a long time w/o seriously injuring himself; he may just transform the sport.
 wraith
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 2008-09-10
Thats just rediculous...
 cragmasterp
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 2008-09-10
fo real yo?!
 petsfed
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 2008-09-10
Honnold seriously needs to fuckin' stop. There's gonna be no last great problems left for the next generation.
 chouca
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 2008-09-10
This is mind blowing. Parties of talented climbers have to pull gear on their first few free attempts just to get up the thing. There are many awkward, polished, and insecure moves on that climb, with so many places go off-route. I agree that this is truly an evolution for the sport.

Anybody that has been on the route understands that the grade doesn't begin to tell the story about this stretch of granite. Even Potter brought a rope on his 3/4 free solo and aided sections. Higbee and Erickson gotta be freaked out by this.
 moose_droppings
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 2008-09-10
Simply amazing, an he's only 23.
Mental fortitude to the max.
 camhead
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 2008-09-11
I've not been on this route, although I've heard plenty of what a sandbag it is (some even say tougher moves than Freerider).

I do think that the Alpinist article mentioned that Honnold bypassed the Zigzags with an 11c variation. Are the Zigzags the crux?
 angry
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 2008-09-12
Paul, while the Zig Zags may be the true crux, it doesn't matter. He soloed the Higbee Hedral and the fucked up 5.12 (11+) slab above the Zig Zags.

It definitely easier in terms of a move for move comparison to Moonlight but in whole, it's a hell of a lot harder (I've failed to free both, I know both routes).

Does anyone else think he just might be building for a Nose solo in a few more years or less?

I hope he lives, he's truly inspirational.
 saltysnail
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 2008-09-13
As awesomely amazing as that is, am I the only one who won't be suprised when he's fallen and died?

On routes that long, something's going to go wrong eventually. To me it doesn't seem like a question of if he will, but when?

Still, that's an incredible story.
 petsfed
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 2008-09-13
I could see Honnold going after the Nose solo. I think Freerider is the next big one though. I believe that once the Nose goes all free, solo, then we'll start to understand where free climbing is going next.
 angry
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 2008-09-13
Freerider would be the logical next tick. The Nose then a free 3 hour free solo of the Trango Tower could be looming though.
 yosemite26
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 2008-09-13
5 out of 5 stars omg thats gotta b 1 of tha craziest frieken things EVER!
idk if he thinks he has an s on his chest or wat but WOW
 p0bray01
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 2008-09-14
That's great. Although It is sad and kinda prophetic in a weird way that almost everyone's post mentions the "I hope he lives" quote. Lol. Well I will say it again, lets hope for the best because I surely am not progressing the sport much, just wallowing/fighting/scratching for my own ascents. Good Job Kid. ;)
 brachialis
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 2008-09-15
I had always imagined free soloing (at least on longer, more difficult routes) as a practise reserved for veteran climbers, who presumably have gradually become very comfortable with and aware of the associated variables. This guy is really young, though, which makes the feat all the more impressive, or troubling? Whatever the case, I'm certainly inspired.
 notapplicable
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 2008-09-16
Damn, talk about "bench mark" climbing!!

What a proud send.
 petsfed
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 2008-09-16
Age != experience. I'd wager that Honnold has more than a decade worth of climbing under his belt. He just started young.
 Bagelo
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 2008-09-18
Absolutely amazing. I really hope to here about a nose solo within the next few years!
 Yogisan
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 2008-09-21
very humbling
 ClimberDude90
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 2008-09-22
That dude is friggin crazy
 masocko
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 2008-09-23
free solo=ego trip + something to prove...congrats though, it is very cool to see it done!
 jsunmatthews
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 2008-09-28
I kind of agree with masocko. I don't really see it as evolving the sport. Yes, it's AMAZING, don't get me wrong. I'm totally blown away and I'm sure Hannold couldn't give two shits about someone's opinion anyway. Soloing is more about the inner quest anyway. But what does it prove? He's a great climber? That's would be obvious even with pro. But how many great climbers are no longer with us because they climbed so well but didn't climb so smart?
 deadhorse
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 2008-10-08
I disagree with both of you. Who says he's trying to prove something to you? There is no person that is so caught up with their public opinion to free solo thousands of feet, that also holds the quiver of skills to do so. I bet if no one was ever going to hear about this, he still would have done it.
Congrats on a sick send.
 Betahappy
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 2008-10-25
4 out of 5 stars INSANE!!!
 TommyTstars
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 2010-02-15
That climb is featured in one of the films in the 2010 Banff Film Festival World Tour. That face of Half Dome is the only major feature in the Valley and the Meadows on which my son and I have not done a free route. The idea that it was soloed and I sat there and watched it in a film is something with which I am having difficulty coming to terms.

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