Home > Profiles

Listen to Alex Honnold Talk About Fear and Climbing

Alex Honnold Photo courtesy The North Face

Alex Honnold is undoubtedly the most famous climber of his generation and for a good reason.

For the past 10 years, the 5.14 climber has been making headlines for free-soloing some of the biggest and most difficult routes where ever he visits.

His free-solos have made everyone wonder how he controls his fear while pushing the limits. He’s the only climber who’ free-soloed El Capitan and currently holds the speed record up The Nose with Tommy Caldwell.

Despite having a number of sponsors, doing presentations at corporate events and owning homes, he still lives in a van most of the time.

Honnold recently talked about climbing and fear on the The Tim Ferriss Show. When asked whether his free-soloing is a bad influence on younger climbers, he said, “In general, you just don’t really see copycats like you see in gravity assisted sports or action sports.

“In kayaking or skiing or something, anybody can just stand at the top of the cliff and say, ‘I’m gonna hit this cliff and I’m going to stick it and it’s gonna be sick.’ Once they commit, they’re going of the cliff one way or another.

“But with climbing, each move you make is a decision that you’re going to continue upward. You have to decide over and over, I want to keep going, I want to keep going. And at a certain point you’re like, I don’t really want to keep going. I think I wanna go down. And then you’re just like, Mommy!”