2. Alex Honnold's Hardest Solos Yet

After Alex Honnold climbed Half Dome without a rope, we thought he couldn't push soloing any further. We were wrong.

Alex Honnold soloing The Phoenix

Alex Honnold soloing The Phoenix     Photo: Peter Mortimer/Sender Films

After spending last summer blazing up big walls, Alex Honnold turned his attention this year to soloing hard single-pitch routes in Yosemite. On June 13, Honnold soloed The Phoenix, the world’s first 5.13, while in the Valley to film a segment for 60 Minutes. In September, he returned and, in one of the best days of soloing the Valley had ever seen, free soloed Cosmic Debris (5.13b)—Yosemite’s hardest-ever solo—and made a ropeless flash of Heaven (5.12d), an overhanging 40-foot crack perched hundreds of feet above the valley floor. In an interview with Rock and Ice after the ascents, Honnold played the solos down. “It definitely wasn't one of my best days,” he said. “I literally climbed 11 minutes the whole day.”

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