Alex Honnold, the most celebrated, death-defying rock climber, completed what could be the most impressive accomplishment in all of sports: he scaled Yosemite’s 3,000-foot wall known as El Capitan without a rope or safety gear.
The 31-year-old North Face brand ambassador, whose feat was captured exclusively by National Geographic, began his ascent just after 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning “dressed in his favorite red t-shirt and cutoff nylon pants, and [after eating] his standard breakfast of oats, flax, chia seeds and blueberries,” according to the publication.
He finished the climb, known as free soloing, in 3 hours, 56 minutes.
“So stoked to realize a life dream today,” Honnold posted on Instagram.
Honnold, who became famous after his harrowing feats were profiled in National Geographic, Outside and on 60 Minutes, had trained in secrecy across the world for more than a year.
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After he completed the climb, several brands and athletes took to social media to congratulate Honnold.
“Like the rest of the world, we are in awe of the kind of physical and mental strength, vision and commitment it takes to accomplish what is considered impossible again and again,” The North Face said on Instagram. “For more than 50 years we have proudly supported world-class athletes like Alex and celebrated their pursuits of exploration. Alex, we love you and wish you a lifetime of exploration. But next time, please use a rope!”