Home / National News / Climber who reached top of El Capitan solo and without gear still in awe of 'outrageous wall'

 

(NEW YORK) — Alex Honnold is no longer atop El Capitan but he’s still on cloud 9, after becoming the first person to ever climb to the rock’s summit solo and sans safety gear or ropes.

“I don’t know if there’s anything better,” he told ABC News on Tuesday.

Honnold took just four hours Saturday to scale the massive, 3,000-foot wall at Yosemite National Park.

He told ABC News that he’d spent about 10 years climbing different parts of El Capitan and had climbed the wall about 60 times with ropes. This weekend’s feat, he said, was the end of a very long road.

For the last six months, the 31-year-old said he’d trained, memorizing routes in preparation for the day he felt ready.

“There’s no easy way to know when you’re prepared enough or when you feel comfortable enough,” he said. “It’s kind of this subtle thing that when you think about the route, it doesn’t seem scary.”

“When I look at El Capitan, it still seems like a pretty outrageous wall.”

He described Saturday’s climb without safety gear or ropes as “unencumbered” and “more fun.”

“When you’re climbing with a rope and a partner, you have maybe 10 pounds of equipment hanging off you all the time and so, I mean, it’s tiring,” Honnold said.

Honnold has been climbing for more than 20 years, since he was a child. None of his family climbs. He said that after he’d reached the top, his mother had congratulated him but also had thanked him for not telling her previously of his plan.

On Sunday, he had brunch with his girlfriend and others and finally indulged in sugar, which he’d been forgoing during training. Honnold told ABC News Tuesday that he was still a bit sore and tired but feeling “pretty awesome.”

He said his view of the wall had not changed one bit since Saturday’s climb.

“When I look at El Capitan, it still seems like a pretty outrageous wall,” Honnold said. “Having like one magical experience doesn’t really change that.”

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