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2016 Hall of Fame Honoree

Alex Honnold
Rock ClimberAlex Honnold

Alex Honnold is a professional adventure rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world. A gifted but hard-working athlete, Honnold is distinguished for his uncanny ability to control his fear while scaling cliffs of dizzying heights without a rope to protect him if he falls. His humble, self-effacing attitude toward such extreme risk has earned him the nickname Alex “No Big Deal” Honnold.

Honnold's most celebrated achievements include the first and only free-solos of the Moonlight Buttress (5.12d, 1,200 feet) in Zion National Park, Utah, and the Northwest Face (5.12a) of Half Dome (2,200 feet), Yosemite, California. In 2012 he achieved Yosemite’s first “Triple Solo”: climbing, in succession, the National Park’s three largest faces—Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and El Capitan—alone, and in under 24 hours. Whether climbing with a rope or without, Honnold believes climbing is a fantastic vehicle for adventure, an opportunity to seek out those high-test moments with uncertain outcomes in which you’re forced to push through to survive.

Honnold was born in Sacramento, California. He started climbing when he was 11 years old. Upon graduating from the Mira Loma High School with a 4.7 GPA, he matriculated to the University of California Berkeley to study engineering. However, at the age of 19, he dropped out of school and has since devoted all his time to climbing. Between climbs, he runs or hikes to maintain fitness. Yosemite is his favorite area because of its impressive walls and favorable weather.

Though Honnold often downplays his achievements, his rope-less climbs have attracted the attention of broad and stunned audience. He has been profiled by 60 Minutes and the New York Times, featured on the cover of National Geographic, appeared in international television commercials, and starred in numerous adventure films. He has been recently profiled in the book Alone on the Wall and in the movie A Line Across the Sky. Honnold is sponsored by The North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, and Goal Zero. He is the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental non-profit which "seeks simple, sustainable ways to improve lives world-wide." And to this day, he maintains his simple “dirtbag-climber” existence, living out of his van and traveling the world in search of the next great vertical adventure. 

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