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Bonus: Free Soloing With Alex Honnold | Nat Geo Live

( intro music ) Jimmy: So, in terms
of free soloing, undoubtedly the
greatest free soloist
that ever lived is… this kid, Alex Honnold. Pretty quiet. Grew up
in the suburbs of Sacramento. He pretty much…
You know, you think next generation and
next generation, what are people going to do? Well, he’s kind of
skipped a generation and started soloing things
that were unthinkable. I’m going to play
a quick little video from… about Alex. ( music ) Mark: Free soloing has
to be the ultimate in free climbing. Alex: So, it’s a beautiful
to go out soloing. Mark: To free solo is
to go without a rope and to go without gear. To only have your rock shoes
and your chalk bag and the power of the mind. It’s also very
profound ( laughs ). Reason it’s probably
the ultimate, is one wrong move,
you fall, you die. ( beep ) Alex: Okay, let me
try that again. Mark: And the person
at the top of this game, and it’s hard to even
call this a game, is Alex Honnold. Alex Honnold is probably
a perfect example is someone who’s not
only trained very hard, but is unbelievably gifted. He is like Michael Jordan. ( quiet music ) Alex: I spend my whole
year living in the van, traveling from one
destination to another. Yeah, I would say that Yosemite probably is the center
of my climbing. That all my climbing
goals, all training, all kind of revolves around things
that I want to do in Yosemite. This is by far my favorite
place for soloing. Because the walls
are so inspiring. Like, everything here’s so big. That’s what gets me excited
about soloing stuff. One of the most
memorable moments was pitch 22, of The Nose. I put my rope away and I switched to soloing. I just had a moment of…,
like this is surreally cool. I was like, I can’t
believe I’m up here with no rope just climbing. Like, this is rad! Mark: You know,
Alex has now done the regular route
on Half Dome free solo. So for most people
on this planet who are serious climbers, doing Half Dome in a day or two is considered fantastic. Alex did it in three hours
without a rope. Alex: You know, you commit. You’re like, I’m
doing this, here I go. But then after a couple hours
of being all committed, you’re like, man I’m tired. Your mind starts
to get a little bit tired. So I kind of stalled out
and then I started to doubt if I was doing it right
or if I had the right holds. Why am I even here? You know, do I want to do this? Um. Cameraman: Just come back
if you’re not feeling it. Alex: Well, that’s the thing.
I am like… Mark: That stalled him out,
that paralyzed him. Then he overcame it. He didn’t work that route
a hundred times. He just got up, below it,
looked up at it, and believed,
absolutely believed it was well within his ability. Alex: You know, it seems
like in this last season I’ve sort of embraced the whole experience,
you know, embraced the
unpleasant parts too. It’s kind of cool
to just look around, you know, enjoy the exposure. Be like, this is why I’m
here, this is awesome. ( music )
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