A 30-year-old climbing phenomenon, Alex Honnold pushes the limits of free soloing beyond anything previously attempted, as he climbs without a rope, without a partner, and without any gear to attach himself to the wall. If he falls, he dies. In ALONE ON THE WALL, Honnold recounts the seven most astonishing achievements thus far in his meteoric career, including free-soloing Sendero Luminoso in Mexico and climbing the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia. Each chapter narrates the drama of one climb, along with reflective and introspective passages that get at what makes Honnold tick.
On January 17, 1913, alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. He plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface. On February 8th, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, “Which one are you?”