Team America: Alex Honnold, Kevin Jorgeson and Matt Segal are having one hellavu trip, and not just enjoying our glorious weather and having mammoth movie watching sessions, but kicking ass on God's own rock. They are, as the lament went about the American G.I's who invaded the UK in the Second World War, "overpaid, oversexed and over here." This week has been Honnold's. To borrow a phrase. He owned!
Earlier this year this 23 year old from Sacramento, California soloed two routes that are beyond the comprehension of most climbers; Moonlight Buttress (V 5.12d, 9 pitches, 1,200') in Zion National Park, Utah..... finger tip laybacking and jamming in the sky, then later an even more serious proposition with a free solo of Regular Northwest Face (VI 5.12a, 23 pitches, 2,000') on Half Dome in Yosemite with a 5.11 slab as one of the finishing pitches. Don't bother attaching an E-grade to those ascents.
Clearly Alex Honnold is in a league and a world all of his own. See Nov 2: Alex Honnold repeats The Promise: Who is he?
And now perhaps the most impressive week climbing on gritstone ever.
On the 14th November Honnold did, to quote his friend Matt Segal, "some variation of Knocking on Heavens Door E8" then later that day, "In typical Honnold style, he walked up to Gaia E8 and thought it didn't look too bad... After a quick warm up he flashed (much closer to an on-sight) Gaia... Was pretty sick, there was no chalk on the holds and he didn't have any beta, he had just seen Hard Grit a while ago... Super proud!" (See the video in the news report below)
This morning Kevin Avery phoned in a report that on Saturday Alex headpointed The New Statesman E8 6c at Ilkley, and flashed Deathwatch E7 6b.
On his 8a.nu scorecard Honnold said about New Statesman, "Awesome line. Much, much harder than the End of The Affair or Gaia. Thanks to the random folk nearby for lending a few pads. As regards Deathwatch E7 he said, "Cool little route. E7? Yet harder and more dangerous than End of The Affair (an E8). Weird. Thanks for cleaning it Matt."
Then Dan Lane reported a few hours ago that Honnold had headpointed, Parthian Shot E9 6c.
"Alex Honnold has made a headpoint ascent of the famous Parthian Shot. I don't know any details. But I saw him top-roping it in the morning, and as we were walking along the base of the crag I saw him fall from the crux. We stood and watched him make a clean ascent but not without incident. As he rocked over onto the slab his photographer's abseil rope was on one of the crucial footholds. If he would of fallen he would have apparently decked. Luckily this didn't happen."
Click on the thumbnail above to see Honnold on Parthian Shot.
Alex Honnold is sponsored by Maxim, The North Face, Black Diamond and La Sportiva.