The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life

The Impossible Climb

ALEX HONNOLD, EL CAPITAN, AND THE CLIMBING LIFE
By MARK SYNNOTT

The Impossible Climb climaxes with Alex Honnold’s unprecedented, almost unimaginable feat: a 3,000-foot vertical climb up El Capitan in Yosemite, without a rope. Mark Synnott tells the story in the context of a deeply reported account of his ten-year friendship with Honnold, multiple climbing expeditions, and the climbing ethos they share.

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Advance Praise for The Impossible Climb

“With the possible exception of the lunar landings, free-soloing El Capitan may rank as one of the most audacious—and terrifying—things a human being has ever done. Synnott’s narrative plasters you a 3,000-foot granite cliff and doesn’t let you go until the climb is done. It is one of the most compelling accounts of a climb and the climbing ethos that I’ve ever read.”
Sebastian Junger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of TribeWar, and The Perfect Storm

“Yes, The Impossible Climb is the gripping story of the most perilous rock ascent of all time – but it’s much more than that.  In seamlessly fusing memoir, reporting, social history, climbing lore, technical expertise and intimate glimpses of his tribe, Mark Synnott has given us a kind of epic of life on the edge. Even readers who have never set toe to rock are going to find themselves glued to this insanely brilliant account of extreme athletic ambition and endurance.” 
—David Laskin, author of  The Children’s Blizzard

“Mark Synnott’s The Impossible Climb is to climbing what William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days is to surfing.”
—John Long, writer, producer, and pioneer of “free solo” rock climbing

“Immensely enjoyable. Tapping his own impressive mountaineering resume, Mark Synnott dives deep into the rebellious counterculture of extreme climbing to get inside the head of Alex Honnold, the planet’s foremost rock climber. What motivated Honnold to free climb El Capitan without a rope? ‘Because it’s there’ doesn’t come close to explaining it. Synnott’s The Impossible Climb does.”
—Andy Hall, author of Denali’s Howl