Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

News

Honnold Free-Solos the 1,750-Foot El Sendero Luminoso (5.12d)

Alex Honnold has free-soloed the Grade V big-wall route El Sendero Luminoso (5.12+) in El Potrero Chico, Mexico.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Honnold free-soloing <em>El Sendero Luminoso</em> (5.12d). Photo by Cedar Wright.
Honnold free-soloing El Sendero Luminoso (5.12d). Photo: Cedar Wright.

Alex Honnold has free-soloed the Grade V big-wall route El Sendero Luminoso (5.12d) in El Potrero Chico, Mexico. The climb rises 1,750 feet up the limestone face of El Toro (The Bull), and sports 15 pitches–11 of which are rated 5.12. Honnold climbed the route in a mere three hours.

“Alex will downplay the achievement, but I can assure you this is one of the most cutting edge big-wall solos of all time,” reported Cedar Wright—one of Honnold’s frequent climbing partners—to Outsideonline.com. 

Honnold amidst a sea of limestone, ropeless on <em>El Sendero Luminoso</em> (5.12d). Photo by Cedar Wright.
Honnold amidst a sea of limestone, ropeless on El Sendero Luminoso (5.12d). Photo: Cedar Wright.

According to Outside’s report, Wright had joined Honnold in Mexico last week and together they rehearsed the route, climbing it four times while also establishing a new exit section to the route in order to reach El Toro’s true summit.

El Sendero Luminoso requires thin, technical face-climbing above hundreds of feet of exposure, yet Honnold felt in control according to Outside’s report.

“It felt pretty straight forward,” Honnold told Outside.

El Sendero Luminoso was established by Kurt Smith and Rock and Ice Editor Jeff Jackson.

“I think we put that route up in 1994,” says Jackson. “We picked one of the most perfect shields of rock with the least amount of vegetation in Potrero.”

<em>El Sendero Luminoso</em> takes the prominent line up El Torro. Photo by Cedar Wright.
El Sendero Luminoso takes the prominent line up El Torro. Photo: Cedar Wright.