Alex Honnold Tags Another Major Antarctic Peak

It’s hard to knock Alex Honnold’s psych for Antarctic climbing this season.

Last week, the free solo artist (and budding polar explorer) summitted Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak, despite illness he described as “shocking.”

This week, the send train kept rolling. Honnold yesterday shared that he and his partner, Esteban “Topo” Mena, topped out on Mount Shinn (4,661m), the continent’s third-highest peak.

Two words come to mind to describe Honnold’s attitude toward his rash of snowy climbing: undeterred and nonchalant.

He reported the two-day Mount Vinson adventure and woesome gut problems via a declarative Tweet. Writing about Mount Shinn, he was more prolific but equally nonplussed.


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“Overall, I thought that Shinn was a much cooler summit than Vinson, with much more interesting climbing. It’s too bad that it’s not a little bit taller — it feels a little neglected as a third tallest peak. Everyone’s there to climb the biggest one….” he said.

Honnold and Mena’s Antarctic trip concluded shortly after the Shinn summit. Mena added via Instagram that the pair also pulled off what’s “likely” a second ascent of Mount Dolence (1,950m) during a 20km outing with climbing around 5.5 (4b) difficulty.

Where on earth Honnold will show up next remains a mystery. The last time we saw him anywhere other than Antarctica, he was busy scrambling up crumbly, nondescript rock near his home in Las Vegas — on an impromptu first ascent bid.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.