• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
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  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
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  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
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  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
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  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
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  • TNB: Soul Sport
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  • Video Spotlight
    Alex Honnold Solos Lover's Leap in Dan Osman Tribute
    Alex Honnold Solos Lover's Leap in Dan Osman Tribute
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
     



    TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove

    27-Jan-2015
    By Chris Parker

    Alex "Honnlove" Honnold. In the past few weeks, the climbing world has erupted like a super-caldera, spilling into the mainstream media from a phenomenon now known as #Dawnwall. Not to be confused with the Dawn Wall—a 5.14d Grade VI route on the steep, Southeast face of El Capitan—#Dawnwall is actually something less quantifiable and slightly more perplexing for climbers. Maybe #Dawnwall is best described as the biggest buzzword climbing has ever known, garnering attention from pretty much every mainstream media outlet in the country. I mean, even the President of the United States of America publicly congratulated the guys who sent the world's hardest big-wall free climb. But did Barack Obama actually know why he was congratulating them? Judging from his Tweet, I seriously doubt it.

    "So proud of @TommyCaldwell1 and @KJorgeson for conquering El Cap. "

    And that's totally cool. I mean, how do you even explain what @TommyCaldwell1 and @KJorgeson did to someone who's never climbed?

    "These guys are climbing 5.14d in the middle of a 3,000-foot big-wall, " I told an NPR reporter two weeks ago.

    "So that 's the hardest anyone has ever climbed?"

    "Well, um, 5.15c is actually the hardest anyone has ever climbed … but that's a single-pitch sport climb and this is, well … "

    "Hold on, can you just tell me, is the Dawn Wall like climbing a pane of glass with little cracks in it?"

    "Uh, not exactly?"

    Luckily, NPR decided to scrap my interview. And for the most part, mainstream media just decided to stick to their guns and to go with the simple, yet totally wrong, "First Climbers to Free El Cap."

    ABC's original write-up, which, was a stroke of comedic genius once paired with the video interview. So, in the end, despite the fact that no experienced climber would ever confuse what Caldwell and Jorgeson did with the first free ascent of El Cap (and send Todd Skinner rolling in his grave), the mainstream media and non-climbers of the world heard what they wanted to hear. And, honestly, I understand. Climbing is a microcosmic world of confusing jargon, standards, ethics and grades that mean absolutely nothing to anyone who has never climbed. Ever tried to explain to your grandmother that you onsighted 5.12a? Well, don’t bother.

    So for me, the Dawn Wall was a mind-blowing achievement in big-wall free climbing, while #Dawnwall was a puzzling yet extremely entertaining example of just how confusing our sport is to the general public.

    But within the plethora of botched headlines and climbing faux pas permeating mainstream media, one little gem (See Video Below) stood above the rest in sheer comedic brilliance. On January 14, ABC ran a video interview titled, Fellow Climber Attests to Difficulty of El Capitan Climb. The interviewee graciously offering his testimonial was a bold free climber (or is it free soloist?) by the name of Alex Honnlove. That's right. Honn-Love. There probably wasn't a climber alive who watched that interview with a straight face, while Alex Honnold—one of our sport's baddest free climbers, free soloists and speedy aid climbers … wait, did I lose you with that last one?—fielded questions like "How does a baby rappel? "

    But what many climbers probably wondered was, did Honnold tell ABC his name was "Honnlove? "

    I caught up with Honnold to once and for all solve the Honnlove mystery.

     

    Q&A with Alex Honnlove


    So, Alex, were you tired of being Honn"old "?

    Funny, Honnlove does sound more fresh.


    Can Honnlove do anything that Honnold can't?

    Jumar with babies. And slay the ladies. Honnlove should be good at all things related to ladies and babies.


    Well, how does a baby rappel?

    Fitz [Caldwell’s "25-pound " son] wound up staying in the meadow with his grandparents. Becca [Caldwell] made the decision that it made more sense for him to stay down, which was a good decision because we were up there all day and descended in the dark. That would have been rugged for a baby.


    Finally, the question we all want to know, did you tell ABC your name was Honnlove?

    That was just a horrible botch on their part. The interview started with me saying and spelling my name. I have no idea how they turned that into Honnlove.


    Any tips for anyone wanting to feel "Honnloved"?

    One only has to ask.

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