Alex Honnold Free Solos Cosmic Debris and Heaven in Same Day

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Dean Potter free solos Heaven

Talk about upping the ante. Last week, 26-year-old Alex Honnold completed Yosemite's hardest known free solo to date, Cosmic Debris, a 5.13b overhanging finger crack in the Valley. Apparently not satisfied, later that same day he nabbed another hard free solo when he flashed the roof crack Heaven (5.12d) with no rope.

First freed by Yosemite legend Ron Kauk, Heaven is only 40 feet high, but sits atop a 2,000-foot-high slab. An unroped fall from the route would mean death. Dean Potter made the first free-solo of Heaven in 2006 after extensive roped rehearsal. Honnold belayed Mason Earle on the route, then did it first go. “Thanks to Mason for working out the perfect beta,” Honnold wrote on his scorecard. “What an adventure! And such an amazing position.”

For more on Alex Honnold, read David Roberts's May 2011 article, “No Strings Attached.”

—Adam Roy


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