El Capitan in Yosemite nationwide Park is taller than the world’s greatest building. Alex Honnold spent two years preparing for his solo free climb.

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northern California native Alex Honnold became the first person ever to “free solo” Yosemite nationwide Park’s 3,000-foot high El Capitan ~ above Saturday — a death-defying accomplishment in which the climber foresook security ropes and also harnesses.

Using just his hands and feet, the 31-year-old reached the peak of the granite monolith in under 4 hours. It to be a journey he invested two years preparing for, follow to the linked Press.

Conquering El Capitan

The top of the granite wall is greater than the tallest structure in the people — the Burj Khalifa, in the united Arab Emirates — and also requires climbers to navigate a maze that fissures, crevices and also cracks.

Honnold climbed the “Freerider” route, which snakes increase the west side of the face. Nationwide Geographic documented the rise for one upcoming film.

The route has 30 pitches, or sections. It i do not care especially an overwhelming at 2,300 feet, whereby the holds Honnold supplied to ascend room so little they can only be gripped v a thumb, the connected Press reported.

Honnold used protective ropes and also equipment to rise Freerider number of times prior to he attempted Saturday’s ascent. Those trial runs allowed him come plot every toe- and also finger-hold, map every step and practice every precarious position he’d have to put himself in.

Alex Honnold stand atop El Capitan ~ his solo complimentary climb — the first ever — of the Yosemite icon on Saturday. (Jimmy Chin / national Geographic)

Just days before Saturday’s climb, Honnold rappelled down Freerider to make certain chalk marks that left top top the monolith hadn’t been washed away by recent rains, National geographic reported.

Working to conquer fear

Honnold’s training was fastidious. National geographic reported that he spent hrs every other day hanging by his finger tips and doing one- and two-armed pull ups in his van front of the climb.

He rehearsed climbing motions and logged his workouts and also ascents to uncover ways come improve. Despite he’s been climbing for two decades — and even dropped out of UC Berkeley therefore he might tackle the world summits — free-soloing El Capitan to be a significant hurdle, the told the AP.

"Each year i would present up and also it would seem just much too daunting," that said. "To walk as much as the base of the rise without rope and also harness, it simply feels a little outrageous. Gaining over that side that it to be the hardest part."

Scientists have studied his mind to see how it copes through fear and if it is various than the mean human’s, National geographical reported.

“With free-soloing, clear I know that i’m in danger, however feeling fearful while ns up over there is not helping me in any type of way,” he said. “It’s just hindering mine performance, so i just collection it aside and also leave that be.”

In his an initial interview after the climb, Honnold told the magazine the the hill “didn’t look that scary” ahead of the climb.

“I didn’t have actually much that a backpack, and the climbing just felt amazing,” that said. “Not dragging 60 meters of rope behind you for the whole mountain, ns felt for this reason much much more energetic and also fresh.”

When climbers use ropes and harnesses only to arrest a fall, that called totally free climbing. In 2015, Tommy Caldwell and also Kevin Jorgeson came to be the very first pair come ever free climb El Capitan’s Dawn wall surface in 19 days.

Congratulations putting in

“In shock right now. Dude Alex Honnold you’re a complete hero and likewise a significant freak. Thanks for being both,” tweeted Emily Harrington, a nationwide climbing champion.

She piled on much more praise in a second tweet minute later.

Jorgeson, half of the duo the scaled the Dawn wall surface two year ago, had actually a an ext blunt reaction.

“Holy…..” he tweeted in solution to national Geographic’s announcement of the climb.

Caldwell offered Honnold’s achievement perspective.

“I have actually tried many times come mentally move myself right into the head the "” he created on Facebook. “Looking for comfort in what i knew was inevitably coming. Critical week, high ~ above Freerider, i still might not fathom gift up there without a rope. This to be a generation defining climb. … an excellent job, dude.”

Actor and musician Jared Leto even sent Honnold a congratulatory video from his concert in Nashville.

Honnold comment to all the praise Monday morning top top Facebook.

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“I’ve been overwhelmed by the well wishes i have received short article El Cap,” he wrote. “I"m moved by every the message from friends and the higher climbing community. It"s been incredible...I really appreciate all the confident thoughts - thanks, everyone!! such an honor.”

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