Alex Honnold Solos ‘Silly’ New Route On Nevada’s El Padre

Alex Honnold’s latest route probably won’t go down as an all-time classic.


Well, take it from him. First of all, he used quotation marks to call it a “route” (rather than just stating that it’s a route). And the only direct descriptor he used for it was “silly.”

The Las Vegas, Nevada resident still logged the outing on the area’s little-visited El Padre formation as a free solo first ascent. Leave it to the world’s most psyched soloist to get in his mileage regardless.

In fact, a uniquely Vegas-style time crunch forced Honnold to opt for plan B, effectively generating the pedestrian ascent.

“The other day I went for an afternoon adventure to go scramble an established climbing route on La Madre, but as I approached the peaks I made a last-minute decision to climb a new route up El Padre instead because it would involve a shorter approach and descent. I had to be back early enough to join my family for a @davidblaine magic show on the Strip,” Honnold explained on Instagram.

He “strongly” recommended the Blaine show, but endorsed his new route with little enthusiasm. Honnold didn’t name it, acknowledged that it was roundabout, and only gave it a partial difficulty rating that’s trivial in the scheme of things.


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That’s the life of a first ascensionist: You win some, you lose some. Even if you’re the best in the business.

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.