Alex Honnold, a 31-year-old mountain climber from Northern California, recently became the first person ever to climb the 3,000-foot high El Capitan granite wall in Yosemite National Park, without any ropes or other safety equipment.

Hannold pulled-off the historic, death-defying “free solo” climb on Saturday, June 4th, reaching the top of El Capitan in just 3 hours and 56 minutes. All he used as gear was a bag of chalk powder to improve his grip on the slippery granite. To make his job a little easier, the young climber climbed the wall several times before, using ropes, and marked every toe and finger-hold he would use during his free climb, with chalk. Even so, the challenge was monumental, and his success prompted Alpinist Magazine to write “This is indisputably the greatest free solo of all time.”

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