From the YouTube description:
“On January 15, 2014, Alex Honnold free-soloed El Sendero Luminoso (The Shining Path) in El Portrero Chico, Mexico in a little over 3 hours. The climb rises 2,500 feet to the summit of El Toro. It could be the most difficult rope-less climb in history.”
What they don’t mention is that the climb is a 5.12d (using the Yosemite Decimal System) – as a former climber1, when I was at the top of my game, I could do some 5.10 climbs, but even then, those were top-roped and only 60ft and in the controlled environment of a climbing gym. And those climbs kicked my ass routinely.
But to climb a 5.12d in three hours, outside, and ropeless2? Honnold has balls of titanium.
1 – I used to live closer to an amazing indoor climbing gym. But now I live too far away to go the 2-3x week I used to. Going once every few months you don’t retain any of your strength or skill, so I just stopped going.
2 – Ropeless = no rest. If your arms/hands are pumped out (overworked arms become weak and burn with lactic acid buildup), having the rope allows you to lean back and shake your arms out for a minute or two. Granted, he can still do this, but only one arm at a time, while the other one hangs on. Jeebus.