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Alex Honnold Makes Second Ascent of a Todd Skinner Route

Alex Honnold has made the second ascent of a difficult route on the Leaning Tower. 

Todd Skinner and Jim Hewett sent Wet Lycra Nightmare, an eight-pitch 5.13d, on Yosemite’s Leaning Tower in 2004. The hard route is the free variation to Wet Denim Daydream 5.6 A3, a 1977 Darrell Hatton and Angus Thuermer route.

Skinner was one of the first American climbers to attempt bold free routes on some of the biggest walls in the world. It’s fair to say that Skinner was a big inspiration to many of the free climbers who push the limits these days.

In 1988, he and Paul Piana made the first free ascent of The Salathe Wall 5.13b. In 1992, he and a team made the first free ascent of the Great Canadian Knife 5.13b in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Northwest Territories.

And in 1995, he made the first free ascent of Cowboy Direct 5.13a on the east face of Trango Tower in Pakistan, which was the first grade-seven free climb in the world.

Todd Skinner eating a snickers bar at the belay on the lip of the Salathe roof. Skinner and Paul Piana made the first free ascent of Salathe Wall in 1988. Their ascent ushered in a new era of bigwall free climbing. Photo Bill Hatcher
Todd Skinner eating a snickers bar at the belay on the lip of the Salathe roof. Skinner and Paul Piana made the first free ascent of Salathe Wall in 1988. Their ascent ushered in a new era of bigwall free climbing. Photo Bill Hatcher

A week ago, Alex Honnold made the second ascent of Wet Lycra Nightmare and recently posted about it on his social media.

“Such a great day of climbing on some of the steepest rock in Yosemite. Always a pleasure being out with good friends,” Honnold wrote on his Instagram.

The Leaning Tower in Yosemite.
The Leaning Tower in Yosemite. Photo/Source Yosemitebigwall.com

Check out the photo of Honnold on Wet Lycra Nightmare by Chris Noble here. To read more about Todd Skinner, visit a website about him here.

In 2013, Honnold wrote a story for Rock and Ice about a route he climbed on Leaning Tower called A Gift From Wyoming 5.13b/c in memory of Todd Skinner. In the story, he wrote, “I thought of Todd, who had led me up that same path six years before to help him fix lines. His vision of big-wall free climbing was still shaping the development of new routes in the Valley, and his appetite for adventure is still a personal inspiration.” Read the full story here.

Watch Honnold climb A Gift From Wyoming below.

Video #2: BD athlete Alex Honnold making the first ascent of A Gift From Wyoming (5.13) on Yosemite’s Leaning Tower from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.