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The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life

The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life (Hardback)

By Synnott, Mark

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One of the most compelling accounts of a climb and the climbing ethos that I've ever read. --Sebastian Junger The Impossible Climb climaxes with Alex Honnold's unprecedented, almost unimaginable feat: a 3,000-foot vertical climb up El Capitan in Yosemite, without a rope. Mark Syn...nott tells the story in the context of a deeply reported account of his ten-year friendship with Honnold, multiple climbing expeditions, and the climbing ethos they share. The climbing community had long considered a free solo ascent of El Capitan an impossible feat so far beyond human limits that it was not worth thinking about. When Alex Honnold topped out at 9:28 am on June 3, 2017, having spent fewer than four hours on his historic ascent, the world gave a collective gasp. His friend Tommy Caldwell, who free climbed (with a rope) the nearby Dawn Wall in 2015, called Alex's ascent the moon landing of free soloing. The New York Times described it as one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever. It was almost unbearable to watch, writes Synnott. This majestic work of personal history delves into a raggedy culture that emerged decades earlier during Yosemite's Golden Age, when pioneering climbers like Royal Robbins and Warren Harding invented the sport that Honnold would turn on its ear. Synnott paints an authentic, wry portrait of climbing history, profiling Yosemite heroes John Bachar, Peter Croft, Dean Potter, and the harlequin tribe of climbers known as the Stonemasters. A veteran of the North Face climbing team and contributor to National Geographic, Synnott weaves in his own amateur and professional experiences with poignant insight and wit. Tensions burst on the mile-high northwest face of Pakistan's Great Trango Tower; photographer/climber Jimmy Chin miraculously persuades an intransigent official in the Borneo jungle to allow Honnold's first foreign expedition, led by Synnott, to continue; armed bandits accost the same trio at the foot of a tower in the Chad desert . . . The Impossible Climb is an emotional drama driven by people exploring the limits of human potential and seeking a perfect, dialed-in dance with nature. They dare beyond the ordinary, but this story of the sublime is really about all of us. Who doesn't need to face down fear and make the most of the time we have?
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ISBN 9781101986646
Released NZ 5 Mar 2019
Publisher Dutton Books
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (4 other possible title(s) available)
Internationally sourced; ships 6-12 working days

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781101986646
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher Dutton Books
Imprint Dutton Books
Released 5 Mar 2019
Publication Country
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Synnott, Mark
Category Active Outdoor Pursuits
Climbing & Mountaineering
Outdoor Survival Skills
Number of Pages 416
Dimensions Width: 150mm
Height: 231mm
Spine: 41mm
Dewey Code 796.522092
Weight 590g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Mountaineers - United States, Biographies, Honnold, Alex, Free climbing - California - El Capitan
NBS Text Fishing, Field Sports & Outdoor Activities
ONIX Text General/trade