Alex Honnold to Adam Ondra: “You Look at Climbing Very Different Than Me”

Watch a 27-minute conversation between two of the greatest living climbers.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Adam Ondra Writes: “Of course, It would be way more fun to climb (and talk) with Alex Honnold on some sick big wall, but for now, we have to be satisfied with this awesome talk we had. Alex is an unbelievably relaxed guy and this also applies to his cool climbing style. It was quite surprising to find out that, for Alex, free soloing El Cap was a bigger chill than climbing on our Czech sandstone. We covered so many great topics. Alex shared inspiring experiences and thoughts and besides the funny story of how we have met, we talked about our climbing efforts, tried to figure out if climbing harder routes makes us noticeably stronger, chatted about sport climbing, speed climbing, how do we cope with so much attention, if there are any responsibilities connected to being a public figure, and much more.”


  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 0:19 – Where Adam and Alex met for the first time
  • 1:21 – Climb efficiently, scream in the crux, repeat
  • 2:22 – Alex appreciates Adam’s climbing precision
  • 3:07 – Climbing hard vs. climbing to relax
  • 3:40 – Did Alex reach his limit on a 9a sport route in 2019?
  • 4:36 – The natural course leading Alex to his 9a
  • 5:50 – Climbing hard routes doesn’t make you stronger
  • 6:25 – What does Adam’s training look like?
  • 7:10 – Adam’s motivation
  • 7:55 – What have you been doing the last months?
  • 9:03 – Do you find speed climbing tiring?
  • 10:24 – How do you deal with traveling between time zones?
  • 12:07 – Do you climb with your girlfriend much?
  • 13:15 – Cooperation on future project?
  • 14:32 – Filming
  • 15:08 – How to deal with being famous?
  • 18:11 – Who was your childhood hero?
  • 19:39 – Should we use our influence to comment on politics?
  • 21:42 – Plans
  • 22:35 – Do you like the alpine climbing style?
  • 24:54 – Alex’s experience on Czech sandstone
  • 25:53 – Have you ever bolted a sport climbing route?
  • 26:40 – Bolting in Flatanger in Norway