Alex Honnold completed his historic ascent of the Freerider route on El Capitan without ropes or any other safety equipment at all. Over that period, we've seen this story go from something the climbing community was buzzing about to a full-fledged mainstream phenomenon that has been reported on by dozens of major news outlets. But, if you haven't quite gotten your fill of Honnold news just yet, might I suggest reading one more story, as Men's Journal has put together a step-by-step guide of his climb, providing more details on what he had to overcome on his way to the top.
All told, there are 33 pitches to be climbed on Freerider. That is, if you were climbing that route using ropes and the usual climbing gear. MJ breaks those pitches down into four sections and looks at the individual parts of the climb that Alex had to work his way through on his way up. The article also enlists other well-known climbers – like Tommy Caldwell and Pete Whittaker – to help explain what each section and pitch involves. As you can imagine, some are far easier than others, with the most difficult obviously requiring a high degree of skill, strength, and mental toughness to overcome, even if you are using ropes to prevent a catastrophic fall.
The story helps to put further context to the story of Honnolds awesome, amazing, terrifying, and mind-blowing climb. We all know that it took supreme concentration and athletic effort for him to scale El Cap in this fashion, but this article provides a lot more detail on the more subtle moves he had to make along the way. It is an eye opening read that breaks down which parts of the route were insanely difficult, and which were merely incredibly tough.
Check out the full story here.