Read more thoughts from Tommy Caldwell in his essay for Outside, Why Alex Honnold's Free Solo of El Cap Scared Me.
Matt Samet, Editor of Climbing
The idea of going ropeless on a 2,900-foot free climb up slick granite on El Capitan, with multiple pitches of 5.11 and 5.12, will seem ‘horrifying’ or ‘unrelatable’ to most climbers, but it’s clear that Alex prepared long and hard for his ascent and that he felt he could control the variables, his mind included, while he climbed. Such is dedication; such is mastery. While the rest of us will never, ever experience what it’s like to be on Freerider without a rope, we can still appreciate the skill and self-discipline involved. Will it inspire ‘copycats’? I doubt it. Watching Usain Bolt run 100 meters in under 10 seconds might prod us to get off the couch and go for a run ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we’ll ever approach his super-human speed. Ditto for Honnold on Freerider: This was a calculated ascent at the bleeding edge, made by the best free soloist in the history of our sport. I’m glad it came off well; may we all draw inspiration and use it in our own way in our own climbing.