Interview with Alex Honnold About Climbing a Skyscraper


7/25/13 - This fall, Alex Honnold will ditch real rock to climb one of the world's tallest skyscrapers. Here's the kicker: National Geographic will feature the stunt live in a two-hour special.

The particular skyscraper won't be announced until a later date, but Honnold told Climbing that he "chose a building the same way I'd choose a normal rock route. It had to be climbable, aesthetic, inspiring, etc. Basically, it just had to look rad."

Sender Films' Pete Mortimer and Alex Honnold had been tossing around ideas since they finished filming Honnold 3.0 (a film featured in REEL ROCK 7). "The whole idea and TV project was a long evolution," says Honnold. "The thing that TV stations were the most psyched on was a building,"

Though he can't disclose the date, Honnold says he'd "be psyched to go do it next week, but it's on the TV network and building's schedule, not mine."

Honnold is a household name in the climbing community, but he rose to mainstream fame when CBS' 60 Minutes featured him in October 2011 (watch the video below). The segment focused on his free solo ascents, like the Chouinard-Herbert (5.11+) in Yosemite. As far as free soloing a skyscraper, he says, "I'd like to, but we'll do what we need to make the building owners comfortable with everything... It's all a lot more complicated than just climbing a huge cliff outside."