I've made a short interview with rising trad superstar Alex Honnold. Without revealing too much, I think it's safe to say it would be difficult to find a more down to earth and laid back "star". Nothing seems to be a big deal to Alex and his approach is utterly relaxed. Here are a couple of questions from the interview:
What are your thoughts on the UK climbing scene? It's great. The people here have been super nice to us and everyone is really helpful. The local climbers have gone far out of their way to make our trip as good as possible. It's really different from the US since everyone knows all the same routes. The routes have a lot more of an aura over here. They're historic and well known. In the US there are only a few truly iconic routes, but here it seems like people are much better versed in climbing history.
Any thoughts about E-grades compared to the R, S, X suffixes? Obviously I'm still learning E grades since I've only been here for a month [and spent much of the time in the rain]. I think the concept of E grades is really good, they do convey a lot of information. But I don't really know all that well. I still mentally convert everything here back to YDS. R and X wouldn't really work at all over here [on Grit at least] since virtually every route would be considered R. They work well in the US though because routes are generally taller and better protected. Basically, a route is a route, it doesn't matter that much how you number it. Ultimately you still just have to look at the route and decide if it looks like something you can do.
The full interview, where Alex talks about free soloing, traditional climbing and precarious situations will be featured in the 8a-yearbook. Photo courtesy of MVM