Climber Alex Honnold made the first ropeless ascent of The Phoenix in Yosemite Valley earlier this week, notching one of the hardest free solos ever done in the park. The route, established by Ray Jardine in 1977, was the first in the world to be graded 5.13; Honnold, a 25-year-old Californian who's known for his solos of long, difficult routes like Half Dome's Regular Northwest Face and Zion National Park's Moonlight Buttress, reportedly rappelled to the base before climbing his way out. "I thought I could do it, so I figured I might as well," Honnold said in an email to Climbing. "It's a pretty amazing route, and the waterfall below it is raging right now. It's a special place." On Tuesday, Honnold soloed the 15-pitch Chouinard-Herbert route on the Sentinel with a camera crew filming; the footage will appear on 60 Minutes.
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