Alex Honnold: Onsight Free Solo in Spain

posted by dpm on 04/17/2012


Alex Honnold arrived in Spain in late March and after a few days of warming up with some 5.13a and 5.13b onsights at Tres Ponts, he headed to Riglos for a jaunt up the world famous Fiesta de los Biceps (5.11d). The route ascends a 500-foot tower of unique conglomerate rock that offers an array of potato-shaped holds. According to a description posted on, “The last 4 pitches overhang about 300 ft. horizontal.” Honnold onsight free soloed the route and commented on his scorecard, “Such an amazing route and such exposed climbing. What an experience!” The route has been soloed before by Carlos Garcia and Alex Huber (maybe others?) but this seems to be the first onsight solo.

Fiesta de los Biceps follows the faint streak near the left side of the buttress. Photo: 

After his solo, Alex tied in again for some more sport climbing at Gorges du Tarn where he ticked off some 5.13c’s then moved to Oliana where he sent two 5.13d’s in a single day.  

A glance at Honnold’s recent ticklist shows that since his highly publicized solo ascents of Cosmic Debris (5.13b), Heaven (5.12d flash) and The Alien finish to the Rostrum (5.12b) in Yosemite last fall, he’s soloed many more including:

Zion, Utah: Shune’s Buttress (5.11d), Monkey Finger (5.12b)

Joshua Tree, California: Equinox(5.12+), Leave it to Beaver (5.12a), Spider Line (5.11d),Hot Rocks (5.11), Wangerbanger (5.11), More Monkey than Funky (5.11), Course and Buggy (5.11).

Red Rocks: The Warrior (5.11a) approximately 1000 feet.  

This is certainly not a comprehensive list and grades do little to reflect the difficulty of some of these climbs. Shune’s Buttress and Monkey Finger, for example, are 8 or 9 pitches in length and really good climbers fall on them regularly. (Read a trip report with photos from these two routes at

Read the recent DPM article about soloing and the media called “Monkey See, Monkey Do.”     

Source:, Rock and Ice, Planet Mountain,