The ascension of the feared vertical wall The Phoenix is exposed after the video of Alex Honnold soloing it in 2011 came to light. More than a decade after Honnold's famous climb, the video has been made public shows how the American was able to climb one of the most terrifying mountains in the world.
The climber managed to scale the 40-meter wall located in Yosemite Valley without a rope. This feat was rated a difficulty of 7c on a scale that goes from four to nine degrees.
Nobody until then had crowned a mountain with a route of such difficulty. Not even a large number of climbers are able to achieve such a difficult climb without a rope.
Despite carrying out such a feat, world fame came to him in 2017 when he climbed El Capitan, solo, free and without rope. This wall of 914 meters and difficulty 7c meant almost four hours of effort.
He not only achieved full recognition in the climbing world, but also in the movie world. His escalation was collected in the documentary Free Solo, which won the golden Oscar statuette in 2019.
On December 16, the producer Reel Rock shared the video of just over nine minutes where it shows how a historic moment of climbing was forged, such as the ascent to The Phoenix. The person in charge of the recording was Peter Mortimer, author of the climbing documentaries The Dawn Wall and The Alpinist, from whom it was possible to see how he trembled during the ascent.
In the video you can not only appreciate the spectacularity of The Phoenix, but you can also see the waterfall of Cascade Falls. The specialists emphasize that the difficulty of the ascent is maximum, as it is a slippery rock that requires great technical capacity due to the inclination.
As if there were no drawbacks, the Californian climber did it without any protection, so a slip could have ended his life.
To start the climb, Alex Honnold had to rappel down to a ledge halfway up the wall. Once he was already on the plane and had checked the surface, just as the cameras were in their positions, he detached himself from the harness and began the 40-meter ascent.
After achieving this feat, he conducted interviews on television, where he declared that he did not want an audience on the mountain, since neither he nor the spectators would have been comfortable with such difficulty. The number of obstacles he faced may be the key to why the video hasn't been released sooner.
Mortimer could have saved the footage for more than a decade to prevent the overconfidence that the footage can create from prompting lower-level climbers to attempt such a feat.
Although it is considered that the protagonist may have made more than 1,500 ascents without a rope and without the cameras as a witness, he declared that he could have done the climb better. He blamed the tension for not having made the climb as he would have liked, something imperceptible in the video that shows fluid and effective movements.
Although the video of the 2011 ascent was posted a couple of weeks ago, Alex Honnold no longer does climbs of this type. The reason is that his daughter June was born last February, but who knows if the recognition that the recording of his climb to The Phoenix is giving him will cause him to return to the most feared mountains.