It is both a pun as well as the truth to call Alex Honnold a rock star. Alex climbs rock walls thousands of feet high with no ropes and no margin for error. It is hard to imagine a more dangerous sport than "free-soloing," or a more accomplished and ambitious athlete than Alex.
Wearing only simple climbing shoes and carrying a bag of chalk to keep the sweat off his hands, Alex is part of a new breed of "free-solo" climbers who are pushing big wall climbing into uncharted territory. Routes that take two or three days to ascend by climbers using ropes and other safety equipment are now being completed in a few hours by free-solo climbers like Alex -- although as you'll see in Lara Logan's report, in truth there is really no one like Alex.
It might not be surprising that a guy who excels at climbing sheer mountain faces without ropes would prefer a life without strings. And that's how Alex lives. His van is his home - it allows him to drive around the country pursuing the next great climb. The van carries just the essentials: climbing gear, food, and an impressive library.
Alex's way of talking is as unique as his lifestyle, as Lara Logan discovered after Alex called her "dude" a few times. It turns out that Alex calls everyone "dude," but his idiosyncratic speaking style doesn't end there.
As you'll see in producer David Rubin's Overtime piece, this week we take a fun look at Alex-speak - from the "heinous" to the "mellow." And you'll learn why a guy who regularly risks his life doing the impossible is known among his climbing friends as "Alex No Big Deal."