Twenty Alex Honnold Facts

Perhaps you have read about Alex Honnold’s groundbreaking ropeless climb of El Capitan on June 3, 2017. Here are a few things you may not have known about Alex Honnold, many of which are also quite impressive.

By Brendan Leonard | August 7th, 2019

Illustration by Brendan Leonard


1. Alex Honnold did the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon in two big steps.


2. Alex Honnold hand-jammed the entire Monster Off-Width on Freerider.


3. Alex Honnold has paddled a whitewater kayak from the summit of Mount Everest to Base Camp, in winter.


“Twenty Alex Honnold Facts” is excerpted from Brendan Leonard’s new book Bears Don’t Care.

4. Alex Honnold correctly predicted 100 percent of his NCAA Tournament bracket in last year’s office pool.


5. Alex Honnold eats nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.


6. Alex Honnold understood Ulysses the first time he read it.


7. Alex Honnold has never had a problem connecting to the Wi-Fi network anywhere.


8. Alex Honnold got the new Jay-Z album two weeks before it came out.


9. Alex Honnold onsighted your project.


10. Alex Honnold’s van is zero-emission because it runs on the world’s collective awe at his climbing achievements.


11. Alex Honnold set an FKT running the John Muir Trail barefoot while only eating plants he found along the trail. And he high-fived a black bear.


12. Alex Honnold used all his vacation days last year.


13. Alex Honnold surfed Teahupoo on the back of a tiger shark.


14. Your dog is normally quite skittish around new people, but took immediately to Alex Honnold.


15. Alex Honnold is secretly the creator of many of your favorite memes.


16. Alex Honnold completed an Ironman Triathlon riding a razor scooter for the bike segment.


17. Alex Honnold’s old climbing shoes smell like lilacs.


18. Alex Honnold is actually also Jimmy Chin, and photographed himself free soloing Freerider.


19. Alex Honnold parallel parked his van in a very tight space yesterday without even slightly bumping the cars in front of and behind him.


20. Your cousin’s friend met Alex Honnold at an event a couple years ago and Alex Honnold was very friendly to him.


[Also Read A #Vanlife Holiday: Jimmy Chin’s Campervan Is Up For Rent]


Excerpted with permission from Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems: More Funny Shit in the Woods from (Mountaineers Books, August 2019) by Brendan Leonard.




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Brendan Leonard is the creator of, an author, and filmmaker. He has directed and codirected several award-winning adventure films, including “How to Run 100 Miles,” “Chocolate Spokes,” “Ace and the Desert Dog,” and “Frank and the Tower.” He’s a columnist for Outside magazine and a contributing editor at Adventure Journal, and his writing has appeared on and in Runner’s World, Climbing, Alpinist, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Adventure Cyclist, and dozens of other publications. His other books include Sixty Meters to Anywhere and The Great Outdoors: A User’s Guide.


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