posted by dpm on 06/16/2011
Alex Honnold has free-soloed The Phoenix (5.13a) and the 15 pitch Chouinard-Herbert in Yosemite Valley.
Alex, this time using a rope, in Yosemite. Photo: 8a.nu
The Phoenix is a single pitch 5.13 crack that sits above the valley floor near Cascade Falls. Alex rappelled in to the base of the crack and soloed out ropeless. The Phoenix is considered to be the first 5.13 in the world and was first free climbed by Ray Jardine in 1977. It is rumored that the difficult climbing of The Phoenix led him to develop a piece of protection that could be placed quickly on lead. Jardine designed and created the modern camming device in the form of 'Friends'. He used them on the first ascent of The Phoenix and in 1978 began to sell them to the general public. Alex's free solo of the historically significant line adds another chapter to the story of The Phoenix.
A day later Alex soloed the Chouinard-Herbert on Sentinel Rock. The 15-pitch line is graded 5.11+. Both of Alex's solos were captured on film; The Phoenix by Peter Mortimer of Sender Films and Chouinard-Herbert by 60-Minutes. Keep your eyes peeled for some surely amazing footage.