His Life In His Hands

Interesting profile of Alex Honnold in Men’s Fitness by Josh Dean that includes this tidbit on that building climb that was first announced last July:

And yet, the checks keep getting bigger. Honnold will receive the largest payday of his life—“by far”—if his next big mission comes to fruition. For the better part of a year, he and his friend Peter Mortimer, founder of Sender Films, have been plotting to have Honnold free-solo one of the world’s tallest buildings, Taiwan’s Taipei 101. But Honnold says such a bold, Vegas-style stunt isn’t about the money. It’s about the challenge, the fun (“Because it’s there!” he says), and hopefully he can raise the profile of the sport, which has precious few followers. Climbing is a highly specialized undertaking, after all, performed in the wilderness, and regular people—those without the right gear or binoculars—just don’t get it. Climbing a building, on the other hand, translates easily, argues Honnold. “Anyone who’s mainstream is like, ‘Skyscraper!’ ” he says. “They get it.”

Honnold scouted buildings all over the planet before settling on the world’s third tallest, which has 101 stories and is 1,474 feet tall, not counting the spire. Initially, National Geographic planned to televise the climb live in prime time (in partnership with ABC), and had even begun promoting it, then backed out—for now, at least.

Posted In: Asides, Interviews
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