First footage released of Alex Honnold’s historic El Capitan ascent

Over the weekend, rock climber Alex Honnold became the first person ever to ascend El Capitan without the use of equipment (free solo). In doing so, Honnold essentially affirmed his status as one of the world’s best climbers.

Today, National Geographic released the first footage of a portion of Honnold’s ascent. It’s only 35 seconds of video, but it gives some perspective to just how incredibly insane Honnold’s historic climb was.

The quietness of the footage, with only Honnold’s movements, breathing and birds in the distance, magnifies the gravity of the situation: Honnold is climbing 3,000 feet into the air without any safety equipment to save his life if something should go wrong.

This brief footage is just a glimpse into the groundbreaking four hours Honnold spent on El Capitan on Saturday. We’re certain there will be more video to come, but this first look at it truly is spectacular.

Alex Honnold making the first free-solo ascent of El Capitan. Photo: Screenshot

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