“You commit and you’re like, I’m doing this, here I go. But then after a couple of hours of being all committed you’re like: Man, I’m tired and your mind starts to get a little bit tired and then I started to stall out and question whether I was doing it right, whether I had the right holds, why am I even here, do I really want to do this?”
- Alex Honnold, On getting tired while free climbing Half Dome at Yosemite National Park
Alex Honnold is a 26 year of big wall solo climber that has made a huge name for himself in the climbing world. His specialty is free soloing, a form of climbing where the climber forgoes ropes and harnessing as well as any kind of protective gear and relies solely on their own physical strength and stamina. This brand of climbing is extremely demanding, not physically, but mentally. Climbers have to rely on their own psychological fortitude to keep themselves focused and climbers have to make peace with the fact that they can rely on themselves for their own ability but can’t control the normal hazards of climbing like loose rock and sudden weather changes. The challenge is really in the concentration you have to have, especially with no support system, it’s a massive adrenaline rush, but it’s also something that you have to be in 10,000% or you’ll grab a bad hold and slip, or you’ll move off course and get stuck. Alex performed a 2 hour and 50 minute accent of the 2,200 foot Regular Northwest Face of Half dome in Yosemite, to really understand the feat, you have to know that the climb normally takes several days. Yeah. Watch the video:
As a climber this sort of climbing would be an ultimate goal for me, but I’m not there physically and I’m not sure I’ll ever really be there mentally. The sort of climbing I aim for is long endurance, high altitude climbing, mostly of the Everest variety. I’m a regular hiker and I’ve worked with face climbing before but always on ropes and always with a solid team of people I trust, just in case something happens. Watching this video from National Geographic is a drug for me. I can’t really explain how much I love to climb, and honestly I couldn’t explain why I do it, but I love it. I spend the vast majority of my time working on my internal balance and meditation, the closest thing that I can think of that represents that physical and mental focus that mediation and yoga demand of me is climbing. The rush, the focus and then summit. I had to share this video not only for the fact that it’s awesome, or the fact that Alex is my hero, but because I think it’s awesomely relevant and that you can get the picture just by watching the video.