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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

The Biggest Climber Ever

The Biggest Climber Ever

Author: Reilly Capps/Thursday, January 16, 2014/Categories: adventure

Disciplines that hover just outside the mainstream generally only get one hero. 

Physics -- Einstein.

Ballet -- Baryshnikov.

Tightrope -- Wallenda. 

Very few regular people can name a second physicist, after Einstein. 

And rock climbing has Alex Honnold. Readers of this blog are different -- you outdoorsy folks, you -- but the vast majority of people, if they can name even one rock climber, they can name Alex Honnold. 

He exists on another plane from every other rock climber on Earth. Why? Because he hangs, literally, between life and death, to a degree no climber ever has. 

He climbs without ropes. 

And not just boulders. He climbs walls that are insanely big. "Insane" is a technical climbing term. Already this year he climbed a 1,500 foot route in Mexico -- without ropes. He has climbed the biggest faces in Yosemite -- without ropes. He plans to climb the second-tallest skyscraper in the world, Taipei 101 -- without ropes. 

This makes people deeply enthralled and unnerved. Most believe Honnold will not live to see the end of his natural life. His climb of Taipei 101, the fifth tallest building in the world, will be shown live -- but with a delay, in case he falls. Watching Honnold climb is seeing a baby in a bassinet balanced on top of a pole. You don't want to look. You try to watch. You have to watch. 

Here's an oldie but a goodie, his piece on 60 Minutes: 



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