For all intents and purposes, Alex Honnold doesn’t appear to be insane. His chosen activity, though, definitely is. You see, Alex is a professional climber best known for “free soloing” — that daredevil act of climbing walls by yourself without harness, ropes, or equipment. Alone on the Wall is his memoir.
Nicknamed “No Big Deal” for being modest about his accomplishments, he has, singlehandedly, taken the sport of free soloing to new literal heights (he’s soloed Rostrum, Astroman, Moonlight Buttress, El Sendero Luminoso, and Half Dome, among a whole host of others) and has, so far, lived to tell the tale. His accomplishments are so insane that he actually lost a sponsor (Clif Bar) last year for “taking the element of risk to a place where we, as a company, are no longer willing to go.” Yikes.
Alone on the Wall, written as alternating chapters by both Honnold and fellow mountaineer David Roberts, chronicles the career of the daring 30-year old, giving fans a peek into the inner workings of the man himself. Roberts provides the third-person viewpoint, offering report-style writing that gives context to the climber’s accomplishments. In Honnold’s chapters, we get to see him review every single one of his climbs in technical detail, meticulously recalling the small challenges and successes that he came across along the way. He also reveals his inner dialogue during preparations, how he manages fear, and the fact that he will never do base jumping because it’s “way too dangerous.” Seriously.
You can purchase Alone on the Wall in hardcover form (6.5 x 9.3 inches, 288 pages), priced at $20.31.