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Alex Honnold Returns to El Capitan

With his old friend Josh McCoy, he repeated a 5.13 called Mr. Midwest

Alex Honnold teamed up with his longtime friend Josh McCoy for a repeat of a recently established route up the west face of El Capitan.

The two ascended Mr. Midwest, which was first climbed Bill Russell and Doug McDonald in August 1985 and first freed by Eric Bissell and Cameron King in May 2016. The route climbs 14 pitches up to 5.13b. It starts  uphill from the West Face start.

“I had the pleasure of climbing a new-ish free route on El Cap the other day with my long time friend and wall partner Josh McCoy,” said Honnold. “It was a fairly long hard day so I didn’t take many pictures, mostly on the approach and descent. But the climbing was amazing – really varied and featured, which is unusual for El Cap.”

Yosemite season has started and with pandemic restrictions all but gone, it’s likely climbers from around the world will be filling the Valley camps once again. “Loving Yosemite season,” said Honnold. If you want to visit Yosemite this year, check the reservation rules before starting your trip.

Honnold in Yosemite

2007: Freerider VI 5.13a, 37 pitches – One day free ascent with Brian Kimball
2007: Astroman 5.11c, 10 pitches, and The Rostrum 5.11c, 8 pitches, – Second climber after Peter Croft (1987) to free-solo both in a day
2007: Salathe Wall VI 5.13b/c – 11th free ascent
2008: The Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome – First free-solo
2012: The Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome – Speed solo in 1:22
2012: Yosemite Triple Crown (Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, Half Dome) – Solo in 18:50
2014: Muir Wall Shaft Variation V 5.13b/c – Speed record of 12 hours
2014: El Corazon V 5.13b
2017: Freerider 5.13a VI – First Free-solo
2018: The Nose VI 5.8 A2 – Speed record of 1:58:07 with Tommy Caldwell
2019: El Niño VI 5.13c – Second entirely free ascent via Pinapple Express variation with Brad Gobright
2019: Passage to Freedom VI 5.13d – First free ascent with Tommy Caldwell