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Alex Honnold on Risk, Fear and Prep for Free Solo

And why he doesn't like ice climbing

Alex Honnold has been in the spotlight a lot lately, doing sometimes fun and sometimes serious online chats with Joe Rogan, GQ and TED. Now, he sits for a talk with climber Peter Levine.

“Actually believing that I could do something like that, that hasn’t been done before, that I haven’t done before, just having the, sort of, self-confidence,” Honnold told Levine. “That’s a little bit more open-ended, harder to know exactly how to prepare for that.”

Honnold added, “If you’re gonna do something, you may as well do it well. And so I’ve devoted basically my entire life to rock climbing, and if I’m gonna put all my time into it I’m gonna do it as well as I can… And I think that when you’re living exactly the way that you wanna be living it’s easy to give away what you don’t need, because you’re already on exactly the path that you want.”


Alex explains why he won’t go ice climbing [0:57] The preparation that wasn’t in the film “Free Solo”[2:24] Preparing mentally for something that’s never been done before [3:22] A failed attempt returned Alex to the route that started it all [4:48] “If you’re going to do something, you might as well be the best at it.” [5:01] When Alex goes to a climbing gym [8:09] Why climbing is more democratic than football [9:07] Dirtbag climber to world famous athlete [9:25] The line between risk and reward in rock climbing and entrepreneurship [10:22] The parallels of climbing and company building [13:01] Taking the rope off to envision a new path to the top [15:04] 2 hours to the top — speed climbing on El Cap [16:20] When it’s okay to fall… and when it isn’t [17:59] The impact of filming on the experience of the climb [19:48] How climbing gyms have changed the sport [22:55] Anti-gravity v. gravity assisted sports [26:05] The Honnold foundation mission of “solar for a more equitable world” [26:05] “It’s easy to give away what you don’t need when you’re living exactly the way you want” d [29:40] How the Honnold Foundation chooses projects [30:08] What living as simply as possible means to Alex [32:28]

Honnold Talk