Watch the First Video of Alex Honnold’s Rope-Free Ascent of El Capitan

On Saturday, June 3, Honnold became the first climber to ever free-solo Yosemite’s El Capitan — meaning he ascended the wall using no ropes, harnesses, or gear whatsoever, except for a bag of chalk and his shoes. 

It’s a feat that big-wall climber Tommy Caldwell told Men’s Journal “is just unfathomable.” Caldwell pointed out that “Alex is the only person who has the mental toughness to free-solo that route. He’s got an amazing combination of strength, dedication, vision, and composure.” You can see that first-hand in the video above, shot by Jimmy Chin for National Geographic. It will take your breath away. 

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