Honnold Free Solos The Phoenix (5.13)

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6/15/11 - Alex Honnold has free soloed The Phoenix (5.13a) in Yosemite National Park.The Phoenix is the world's first recorded 5.13.

A day later, Honnold free soloed the Chouinard-Herbert (V 5.11+, 15 pitches) on the Sentinel, which was reportedly wet.

Honnold climbed completely solo on both routes, save for Peter Mortimer filming The Phoenix, and 60 Minutes filming Chouinard-Herbert: "[CH] was a whole crazy thing," Honnold said in an email. "Cameras everywhere, sound, etc. But I was unassisted on the route, except I poached some water and someone carried my street shoes to the top."

It took eight minutes to climb The Phoenix, and two hours to finish CH. "That was partially because I had to wait for filmers to move around the mountain and things like that," Honnold said. "It wasn't continuous climbing."

Honnold had spent two days working on The Phoenix, and he had climbed CH already twice this season. Regarding why he wanted to free solo The Phoenix, he said, "I thought I could do it, so I figured I might as well. It's a pretty amazing route, and the waterfall below it is raging right now. It's a special place."

Along with free-soloing 5.13 cracks in Yosemite, it looks like Honnold's been spending much of his time recently at Jailhouse Rock in California (read about Jailhouse's recent access success story here). He's climbed at least two 5.14b's there in June so far, and many more 5.13s. He heads to Newfoundland this summer for a North Face–sponsored trip.

Source: Alex Honnold, supertopo.com, 8a.nu

Dates of ascent: June 13 and 14, 2011