Could Alex Honnold have climbed back down to escape?


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Arne Hendricks

Sport climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 7, 2019 - 06:02am PT
Saw the movie, found it pretty interesting to think about it, investigated further and wrote an article!

Hope you enjoy it :)

Also, would love to get some comments from you, feel free to post on the article or just here, to get the dicussion rolling :)

Mar 7, 2019 - 06:19am PT

The Wastelands
Mar 7, 2019 - 06:21am PT
no, he could not have down climbed

Boulder climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 06:26am PT
If ever there was a "tiger by the tail" moment for all to witness.

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 06:27am PT
Not sure about Alex, but BURT BRONSON could...

tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 7, 2019 - 06:31am PT
BURT BRONSON would never down climb even though he could of course.


Sport climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 06:44am PT
Arne, you need a proof reader. Mr. Woods ^^^

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Mar 7, 2019 - 06:58am PT
Alex apparently onsite downsoloed DOWT (6p 10b?) in Black Velvet canyon after soloing that steep crimpy thing to the left (prince of darkness?)

I found turkeys exciting enough with a rope going up!

That blew my mind.


Here it is.... 2010....

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 7, 2019 - 07:11am PT
No...and he would not have had to.

Mountain climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 07:18am PT
Scariest descent I ever saw was John Bachar skipping down the Water Cracks on Lembert Dome facing out from the wall after soloing a Face route !

Trad climber
Red Rock
Mar 7, 2019 - 08:51am PT
yes, before the boulder after?
doesn't he say in the film he went up half way and then down-climbed, because it didn't feel right?

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Mar 7, 2019 - 08:56am PT
Somewhere thereís a vid of him freaking out on thank god ledge on HD and the camera man says to climb back to him and he has an extra harness for him. But Honnold clams down and climbs away.

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Mar 7, 2019 - 09:22am PT
^^ that was staged for the camera
Jebus H Bomz

Sacramento, CA
Mar 7, 2019 - 09:29am PT
He rapped Freeblast on the aborted attempt. The camera crew could be said to add pressure but also provide escape (what Donini is implying, I believe).

The boulder problem footage absolutely blew my mind. I felt the divergence of alternate realities while watching the other night.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 7, 2019 - 10:01am PT
Need shorts with full strength clip in master point. My chalk bag is on a piece of the asserory cord tied with a water knott. It has crossed my mind that in an emergency i could clip into my chalk bag cord. Not comfortable but not splat either.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Mar 7, 2019 - 02:50pm PT
Likely not.
Highly unlikely the boulder problem is reversible without a lot of work, and maybe not even then.
But reversing the moves on the Freeblast slab would be very hard as well. Pretty unlikely that if he decided to stop above that, he'd want to risk downclimbing the slab.

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 03:43pm PT
I thought I read that when he bailed he yarded on a piece or something to get through the slab pitch (in fact they show it in the movie). And the walkie talkie convo says that he is "bailing from Heart", so I assumed he continued and bailed from Heart ledges where there are raps lines.

I would imagine down climbing the slabs from the 6th pitch would be a nightmare, and in the dark, and especially if it wasn't rehearsed beforehand. So continuing UP to heart was probably a much better option.

Mar 7, 2019 - 04:14pm PT
Iím always trying to learn from my experiences.

And what Iíve learned so far is that it would be foolish for me to believe what my imagination tells me Alex Honnold is possible of, because he blew past that a while ago.

Go ahead and imagine that heís not possible of stuff if that suits you. But you might want to be prepared to be proven wrong sometime in the near future.

lawrence kansas
Mar 7, 2019 - 04:25pm PT
^ Does that mean in the near future he's gonna downclimb elcap? Suhweet!

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 04:30pm PT
Maybe a perfect day of Soloing on El Cap is up climbing Free Rider and then down climbing the West Face... that sounds do-able.
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