Honnold and Wright in Sufferfest 2: Three Weeks, 45 Desert Towers, 700 Miles By Bike
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4/28/14 – Last summer, Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright endured the Sufferfest: the human-powered endurance challenge of bagging all 15 of California’s 14,000-foot peaks by bike, foot, and climbing shoes. Now they have completed Sufferfest 2, a 700-mile ride through Canyonlands in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, bagging desert towers along the way.
Over three weeks, the two climbed 45 towers—a total that normally takes years even for hard-core desert aficionados. And though there were some gimmes along the way (if any desert route is a gimme), they also completed some notorious routes, including Dolofright (5.11 R) on Dolomite Tower, the chimney testpiece Liquid Sky (5.11++) on North Six Shooter, and the Northeast Arête (5.12 R/X) on the Sharks Fin in Monument Basin. Honnold free-climbed three of the most difficult tower routes in America; the Finger of Fate (5.12+) on the Titan, Ivory Tower (5.13b) on Castleton Tower, and Excommunication (5.13a) on the Priest. “I nearly cracked a rib in Liquid Sky, and nearly killed Honnold when a block flew out of Sacred Space,” Wright enthused.
The duo ended their journey on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, where they put themselves to work helping to install solar energy systems for remote homes. “Alex has launched a non-profit called Honnold Foundation, which he is using to funnel cash into some alternative-energy solar projects that he feels strongly about,” Wright said. “This year one of his big goals was to get more directly involved with one of these projects, instead of just throwing money at it. Ending on the Navajo Nation seemed like a good opportunity to raise awareness through a film and actually help hands-on with a Navajo solar project that one of his sponsors, Goal Zero, had helped fund in the past.” As a bonus, the two got to climb half a dozen towers on the Navajo Nation that are normally off-limits, including a first ascent and two first free ascents.
The impressive full list of Sufferfest 2 towers is reprinted below.
Colorado National Monument 1. Otto’s Route, 5.7, Independence Monument 2. Medicine Man, 5.11+, Sentinel SpireFisher Towers 3. Lizard Rock, 5.9 4. King Fisher, 5.10 C1 5. The Cobra, 5.11 R 6. Ancient Art, 5.10+ 7. Finger of Fate 5.12+Castleton Valley 8. Ivory Tower, 5.13b, Castleton 9. Coyote Calling 5.12a, The Rectory 10. Honeymoon Chimney, 5.11a, The Priest 11. Holier Than Thou, 5.11c, The Nun
Big Bend 12. Iron Maiden, 5.12a, Lighthouse Tower 13. Dolofright, 5.11d, Dolomight Tower 14. Infrared, 5.11+, Big Bend ButteArches National Park 15. West Face, 5.11, North Gossip 16. Be There, 5.11, South Gossip 17. West Face, 5.11, Argon Tower 18. The Owl, 5.8 19. Bullwinkle Tower, 5.6 20. The 3 Penguins, 5.10+ White Rim Trail 21. Chimney Rock, FFA, 5.12+ fingercrack 22. Chip, 5.11 C1 23. Dale, 5.10 24. North Ridge, Monster Tower, 5.11 25. Washer Woman, 5.10+ 26. Standing Rock 5.11c 27. N.E. Arete 5.12 R/X, Sharks Fin 28. Sisyphus, 5.11 R, Zeus 29. Primrose Dihedral, 5.11+, Moses Indian Creek 30. Liquid Sky, 5.11+, North Six Shooter 31. South Six Shooter, 5.6 32. Learning to Crawl, 5.11 33. Sparkling Touch, 5.11 34. Easter Island, 5.10 35. Sun Flower Tower 5.10+ 36. Hoop Dancer, 5.11, Humming Bird Tower 37. Sacred Space, 5.11, King of Pain 38. Powders of Persuasion, 5.11
New Mexico 39. Ship Rock, 5.9 Navajo Nation 40. Chinle Spire, 5.10 C1 41. King Louie Spire, FFA, 5.11d R 42. The Pope, 5.11, C1 43. The Fluke, The Whales Tail, FA, 5.11 44. The Whale, FFA, 5.11 R/X 45. Eagle Mesa, 5.7X
Dates of ascents: April 2014
Source: Cedar Wright (all Instagram photos used with permission).