The post is about how a man accomplished the impossible climb, something that seems to far from what was possible in reality. Read on to discover the ultimate survival mindset, the mindset of pure perfection.
I was watching an interview with an intelligent man talking about business and mindset related things. During it, he mentioned the mindset of a lot of successful mountaineers. He said they have some of the most impressive mindsets that could exist in a person.
This piqued my interest because I’ve never read and learned about any mindset related material from mountaineers. I knew less than very little about the way they thought.
After researching for all of 4 minutes, I heard about a climber by the name of Alex Honnald. This was very shortly after the documentary “Free Solo” came out. So I then immediately watched the documentary about Alex.
“The extremely smart and successful businessman that mentioned the mountaineer’s mindset was correct…” I said to myself while in awe about how impressive the way Alex Honnold thought about climbing.
The Mindset of a Master
After watching the documentary “Free Solo”, I then watched nearly every interview with Alex I could find.
He has the most impressive mindset for preparation, fear, and surviving I’ve ever encountered. And I’ve studied quite a few people that were great at something.
The way he approaches a climb. How he thinks. The thought patterns that run through his mind.
El Capitan is a behemoth of a mountain wall measuring 3,600-feet above the valley floor in Yosemite. Alex Honnold is the first person in history (and last most likely) to “free solo” El Capitan. Which means he climbed it without a rope. No rope, no harness. Nothing but his hands and feet. He was the first person to even consider it as a possibility.
“It’s the most impressive mountain wall on Earth,” says Alex.
99% of people see something like that and their reaction is “he’s crazy, that’s nuts. He’s a daredevil”.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I would argue that him free soloing El Capitan was safer than him driving his car down the road to buy some oatmeal.
How Did He Do It?
How Did He Survive? What makes Alex so special? How did he accomplish such an impossible feat?
One word my friends…
But to say he prepared would be a catastrophic understatement.
His level of preparation goes beyond what anyone else is willing to do. Which is why his results are thousands of feet ahead of everyone else (3,600 feet to be exact).
He climbed El Cap dozens of times with a rope before attempting to free solo it. He memorized literally hundreds of climbing steps down to the centimeter of the climbing route.
He knew exactly where to put every fiber of his body for every position, for every part of the 4-hour climb.
He memorized every nook and cranny, every placement and every part that his hands and feet would be at all times.
A daredevil he is not. He is prepared and more prepared than anyone.
Is preparation the secret to his survival and mastery? I’d say so.
Accomplishing The Impossible
Just to drive this point home on what Alex accomplished. The filmmaker Jimmy Chin has an analogy that describes it beautifully in the interview below, skip to15:35.
For anyone that’s not a climber, you think, “wow that’s a big wall”. You see that it’s very impressive and must be incredibly challenging. But you don’t really understand the magnitude of how amazing the accomplishment is.
For the climbers that understand how difficult it is to climb El Cap WITH a rope… have a different point of view. They can’t even wrap their heads around it.
Jimmy describes it as “Everyone is talking about how incredible it would be to run a 2-hour marathon, it seems impossible, no one has done it, but then you hear about someone running a 1-hour marathon”.
You can’t even wrap your head around it because of how unbelievable it sounds.
Book Review: The Impossible Climb
This is hands down one of the best survival books, The Impossible Climb recently hit the shelves. Written by Mark Synnott, describing Alex’s adventure.
I plan on re-watching the film and re-reading the book once a year, every year. It’s a powerful story that can teach us all a lot.
If you haven’t watched the documentary, I’d say it’s a must watch. The amount of time and effort that went into just to MAYBE have the opportunity to film it at all is a miracle in and of itself…
…you’ll know what I mean after watching the film.
The book on Alex Honnold that just came out about climbing El Capitan called “The Impossible Climb” you can see here.
P.S. Thank you, Alex, for accomplishing the impossible and thank you, Jimmy, for filming the story to share with the world. This is how you inspire countless people to go do something great.