Alone on the Wall

Alone on the Wall

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
3
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Only a few years ago, Alex Honnold was little known beyond a small circle of hardcore climbers. Today, at the age of thirty, he is probably the most famous adventure athlete in the world. In that short time, he has proven his expertise in many styles of climbing and has shattered speed records, pioneered routes, and won awards within each discipline. More spectacularly still, he has pushed the most extreme and dangerous form of climbing far beyond the limits of what anyone thought was possible.

Free soloing, Honnold's specialty, is a type of climbing performed without a rope, a partner, or hardware--such as pitons, nuts, or cams--for aid or protection. The results of climbing this way are breathtaking, but the stakes are ultimate: if you fall, you die.

In Alone on the Wall, Honnold recounts the seven most astonishing climbing achievements so far in his meteoric and still-evolving career. He narrates the drama of each climb, along with reflective passages that illuminate the inner workings of his highly perceptive and discerning mind. We share in the jitters and excitements he feels waking in his van (where he lives full time) before a climb; we see him self-criticize in his climbing journal (a veritable bible for students of the sport); and we learn his secrets to managing fear--his most enviable talent. Veteran climber and award-winning author David Roberts writes part of each chapter in his own voice, and he calls on other climbers and the sport's storied past to put Alex's tremendous accomplishments in perspective.

Whenever Honnold speaks in public, he is asked the same two questions: "Aren't you afraid you're going to die?" and "Why do you do this?" Alone on the Wall takes us around the world and through the highs and lows in the life of a climbing superstar to answer those fascinating questions. Honnold's extraordinary life, and his idiosyncratic worldview, have much to teach us about risk, reward, and the ability to maintain a singular focus, even in the face of extreme danger.

Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., c2016
ISBN: 9780393247626
0393247627
Branch Call Number: B HONNOLD
Characteristics: viii, 248 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Roberts, David

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lisasroughdrafts
Jun 22, 2017

I gave this book 4 stars because it inspired me in so many ways. As a non-climber, in orderto digest the technical details and understand what Alex was geeking out on, I watched quite a few YouTube videos which really helped! I learned many climbing technical terms and watched how they were executed via YouTube.

I really enjoyed learning about Alex's philosophy on life and his minimalist approach to living.

a
allan_m_george
Jun 02, 2017

I'll start off saying that I'm not a climber, although I have tried and enjoyed it. A lot of the details were over my head and not interesting. The climbs are described and delivered in a visually appealing way. Alex's dialogue and commentary is mildly funny and entertaining. It is interesting to see Alex's passion and how that makes him act when he's climbing, not climbing, and interacting with people.

l
larters
Feb 14, 2017

For climbers, this book is a challenge and inspiration. Honnold has an *entirely* different concept of risk than most people. For a lay audience, though, it would perhaps not be quite as interesting. A fun, fast read either way.

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