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Rock climbing is impressive, but then there’s free climbing, or “free solo,” which is even more technical and impressive because climbers don’t have safety gear. It’s all on them!

On June 3, Alex Honnold climbed Yosemite’s El Capitan (the mother of all vertical rock faces), becoming the first person to do it without ropes, or as a free-climb. Honnold accomplished the task in 3 hours 56 minutes. Alpinist magazine responded by saying, “This is indisputably the greatest free solo of all time.”

A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Honnold later joked about his feat. He mentioned running into a few climbers on his ascent who apparently spent the night on a ledge. “I woke up one guy and he sort of said, ‘Oh, hey.’ Then when I went by, I think he discreetly woke up his buddies because when I looked down they were all three standing there like ‘What the f***?”

Story continued on page 2 with video of Honnold climbing.

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