Alex Honnold, Half Dome Solo

by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC Alex Honnold has continued his run of form with a solo ascent of Half Dome´s Regular Northwest Face route on September 6th. The NW Face is 23 pitches long, and is graded 5.12a (approx E5). Alex had a fantastic season in Yosemite last year, soloing Astroman and the Regular North Face of the Rostrum in a day, amongst other notable ascents. Earlier this year he soloed Moonlight Buttress on the sandstone of Zion (9 pitches, approx E6) which was heralded by some as “one of the most impressive ropeless ascents ever recorded” (Alpinist Magazine). With the crux finger crack weighing in at 5.12d (E6 / F7c), and several of the other pitches hovering above 5.12 (E5 / F7a+), this effort was a sustained solo that is comparable to Hansjörg Auer´s amazing solo of the Fish Route (F7b+) on the south face of the Marmolada back in may 2007. More of Honnold´s exploits and some of his philosophy can be found on the Alpinist Website.