What Is Free Soloing?


Free soloing, simply put, is climbing without ropes or harnesses. It is a form of climbing that requires a great deal of mental preparation and stamina. Fear must become obsolete. One small mistake is all it would take to end the life of a free soloist.

Alex Honnold has made a name for himself by setting world records for free soloing. He has trained physically and mentally to be able to do what no other human has done or what many have even thought was possible. With no more equipment than shoes and a chalk bag, he was the first and remains the only person to free solo both El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, with the El Capitan climb being around 3,000 feet total.

This video from National Geographic introduces Alex and his climb of El Capitan which was documented and is now available for viewing under the title Free Solo.

Reaching the topReaching the top

Reaching the top

Free Soloing is an extreme sport. Clif Bar, for example, stopped sponsoring Alex because as they said: “We concluded that these forms of the sport are pushing boundaries and taking the element of risk to a place where we as a company are no longer willing to go.”

However, he is an inspirational person. He is an example of what we can achieve if we set our minds to something. Alex uses his fame and awards to do philanthropic work through his own Honnold Foundation.

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