Alex Honnold on the Edge
The Shot: Alex Honnold re-enacting his free solo (without a rope) climb of the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome (5.12a/b) in Yosemite National Park, June 17, 2010
The Photographer: Jimmy Chin
The Full Story: Alex Honnold stunned the big-wall climbing world when he completed the first-ever free solo of the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome — scaling the 2,200 wall of granite without a rope or any protection — on September 6, 2008. At the time, Honnold was still an unknown kid from California. In 2010, Sender Films’ documentary about the feat, Alone on the Wall (2010), made him climbing-world famous, but it wasn’t until Jimmy Chin’s shot landed Honnold on the May 2011 cover of National Geographic that he became a household name, considered one of the greatest outdoor adventure athletes of our time.