Alex Honnold solos the Pancake Flake during a speed ascent of El Cap in 2010. Photo: Tom Evans/elcapreport.com
Just two weeks after free-climbing Yosemite's Triple Crown with Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold repeated the feat solo on Wednesday, blasting up three of the park's biggest walls alone in 19 hours. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the 26-year-old Californian climbed Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome, finishing at 10:45 a.m. the next morning. In an interview on The North Face's blog, Honnold estimated that he had free-soloed about 95 percent of the terrain.
"Climbing through the night, you're always more tired than you should be because of the time and being by yourself, it's weird," he said. "I was climbing in a hybrid style where I had to keep switching back and forth between using a rope and not." Honnold's route differed slightly from his climb with Caldwell in that he took the Nose route up El Capitan, instead of the easier Freerider.
Honnold, who says he plans to team up with Yosemite vet Hans Florine for an attempt at breaking the Nose speed record, has notched several rapid ascents in the past few weeks. Besides free climbing the Triple with Caldwell, Honnold soloed the 5.11c West Face of El Cap on May 22 and sped up Half Dome in a record 1:22 last Friday.