Wild Ideas Worth Living: Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold on being one of the world's best climbers, free soloing El Capitan and putting yourself out there.


Alex Honnold is one of the most exciting and recognized climbers in the world. Last year, Alex completed the most terrifying, challenging climbing feats to date. Last year, Alex completed a challenging (and terrifying) feat when he climbed 3,000 feet up El Capitan in Yosemite without ropes. The film he made with National Geographic about his journey, and the training leading up to it, will hit theaters nationwide in just a few weeks.

Alex’s wild idea: To climb El Capitan without ropes and tackle some of the world’s most challenging routes, setting records, inspiring others, and giving back through his foundation.

For years, Alex has lived the life that many athletes dream of—living out of his van, traveling the country and climbing some of the toughest and most stunning routes. Along the way, he set plenty of records, but remains humble about his talents. He strives to live on his own terms and encourages others to do the same. He is also incredibly generous and gives away a third of his income through his foundation, which reduces environmental impact and addresses inequality by supporting solar energy initiatives worldwide.

My conversation with Alex goes from his amazing free solo ascent, to his perspectives on life and death, his unique mindset on conquering huge goals, how he met his girlfriend and why being in danger can give you a better perspective on the present moment.

Listen to this episode if:

  • You’re a climber.
  • You have ever thought about free soloing.
  • You want to achieve a huge goal and don’t know where to start.
  • You think about life and/or death.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Kerzhner/Comfort Zone