Senior Editor

The Inertia

Alex Honnold has done things in the climbing world that might not ever be replicated. His climbing skills are unparalleled, but a big part of that isn’t just the physical part of climbing. Honnold has a different mindset than most; a mindset that the average human being simply can’t, or won’t, tap into. He loves a challenge, as proven most obviously in Free Solo, the Oscar-winning documentary that followed his historic climb of El Capitan. And while he’s famously quiet, he’s still out there doing almost unbelievable things. Last October, he pulled off another pretty incredible feat.

Honnold set out to climb in his backyard — but not just one face. He wanted to climb the entire Red Rock range in Las Vegas, Nevada. He called it Honnold’s Ultimate Red Rock Traverse (HURT), and judging from the trailer for the film, it’s not something anyone else is likely to attempt.

“In 32 hours of nonstop running, scrambling, and soloing,” Reel Rock, a climbing film company, wrote on its YouTube page about the project, “he covered 35 miles of rugged desert terrain, with over 150 pitches of free solo climbing — both up and down — and logged 25,000-plus vertical feet of elevation gain.”

It was not easy, not by any means. But Honnold is not a quitter. And he’s got a very simple, classically Honnold explanation for that.

“Everyone wants to give up when it’s hard,” he says. “But what if you don’t give up when it’s hard and you finish the thing that you’re trying to do?”

The Hurt, a 35-minute film about Honnold’s feat, is available on Reel Rock Unlimited.


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