May 1, 2023
EP 167: Alex Honnold — Epic Solos That Nobody Heard About, Near Misses, and Sh*tting His Pants While Free Soloing
Alex Honnold is on the podcast! Who? The guy that free handed Yellowstone? Close enough. Seriously though, this was such a great interview. We talked about his two most epic solos that nobody heard about, near misses, lessons from other climbing legends like Tommy Caldwell, Jonathan Siegrist, and Peter Croft, pooping while free soloing stories, how the film Free Solo exceeded his hopes and dreams, the commitment to excellence, and much more!
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0:08:25 – Interviews, speech coaches, and TED Talks
0:11:29 – Finding new terrain for this interview
0:12:09 – Alex’s epic solo linkup in Zion
0:15:20 – Soloing ‘Moonlight Buttress’… again
0:16:12 – Why do these big solo linkups?
0:17:00 – Alex’s epic solo linkup in Red Rock
0:18:58 – Foot pain on big walls and linkups, and vitamin I
0:21:45 – Onsight free soloing ‘Shune’s Buttress’ and ‘Resolution Arete’
0:24:38 – The hardest thing Alex has downclimbed
0:25:33 – Why do some solos get so much attention while others fly under the radar?
0:26:51 – Free soloing ‘Sendero Luminoso’ in Mexico, and pitching films
0:29:21 – What are the limits of free soloing?
0:32:35 – It’s getting harder to have quantum leaps
0:34:20 – Feeling content with his Yosemite and soloing accomplishments, and comparing himself to the top sport climbers
0:36:26 – Chris Sharma doing the FA of ‘Necessary Evil’ 5.14c (8c+) in his first few years of climbing, and the role of talent in high-end climbing
0:39:44 – Alex’s sport climbing resume, what it would take for him to climb 5.15a (9a+), and the tension in his climbing
0:42:37 – Dad strength, and having to focus with limited time
0:43:50 – The climbing gyms in Vegas, and dreams of a home wall
0:49:34 – Near misses while soloing
0:55:34 – Soloing ‘Fiesta De Los Biceps’ in Riglos Spain
0:57:46 – Competing with Ethan Pringle as a kid, soloing ‘Shune’s Butress’ in the snow, and the tree story
1:03:16 – Soloing ‘Monkey Finger’, Big Horn tracks, and spirit animals
1:04:22 – Climbing slowly, and the physiological limits on ‘The Nose’ speed record
1:08:06 – What it took to break ‘The Nose’ speed record, and Alex’s thoughts on breaking it again
1:10:47 – The biggest lessons Alex has learned from Tommy Caldwell, Jonathan Siegrist, and Peter Croft
1:14:26 – Drawing inspiration from other climbers, and soloing with Shawn Raboutou
1:18:15 – Following the climbing news
1:19:01 – Who Alex is most impressed by in climbing, and interviewing the Mellow crew (Daniel Woods, Shawn Raboutou, Jimmy Webb, and Giuliano Cameroni)
1:20:35 – The new season of Climbing Gold, and unearthing the great stories of climbing
1:22:13 – Who Alex has been most thrilled to interview
1:23:28 – The time commitment of Climbing Gold, corporate speaking, and interviewing Stone Masters
1:26:24 – Will Climbing Gold ever put out uncut interviews?
1:28:37 – Pooping while free soloing stories
1:34:56 – Shit-putting, and where he stopped to poop on his solo of El Cap
1:36:29 – Filming Free Solo, how the movie far exceeded his hopes and dreams, the warrior spirit, and soloing as modern blood sport
1:38:54 – The commitment to excellence, and his running list of goal routes
1:41:05 – Plans for the PNW, hard routes on Liberty Bell, and having more commitments and time constraints these days
1:43:57 – “More intention never hurt.”
1:44:47 – “The guy that free-handed Yellowstone?”