The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan and the Climbing Life (Hardback)Mark Synnott (author)
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If you loved watching Free Solo, you'll be enthralled by Mark Synnott's deeply reported, insider perspective on Alex Honnold's impossible climb.
One slip, one false move, one missed toehold and you're dead.
On June 3rd 2017 Mark Synnott was in Yosemite to witness something that only a handful of people knew was about to occur: the most famous climber in the world, Alex Honnold, was going to attempt to summit one of the world's most challenging ascents, a route called Freerider on the notorious rock formation El Capitan. It is a climb extraordinarily dangerous and difficult, and yet Honnold was going to do it 'free solo'. Meaning no help. No climbing partner. No equipment. No rope. Where a single small mistake would mean certain death. Indeed, to summit El Cap free solo was a feat likened to Neil Armstrong first walking on the moon.
In The Impossible Climb, Mark Synnott uses his own career as a professional climber to paint an insider portrait of the elite climbing community, exploring what motivates them, the paradoxical drive to keep the sport pure and at the same time to fund climbs, and the role that awareness of mortality plays in the endeavour. We watch through Mark's eyes as Alex plots, trains and attempts his heart-stopping free-solo ascent. Ultimately this is a story not only about climbing but about what makes us human, how we respond to fear and our drive to transcend the inevitability of death.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 820 g
Dimensions: 245 x 170 x 43 mm
With the possible exception of the lunar landings, free-soloing El Capitan may rank as one of the most audacious--and terrifying--things a human being has ever done. Synnott's narrative plasters you to a 3,000-foot granite cliff and doesn't let you go until the climb is done. It is one of the most compelling accounts of a climb and the climbing ethos that I've ever read. -- Sebastian Junger, author of THE PERFECT STORM
Immensely enjoyable. Tapping his own impressive mountaineering resume, Mark Synnott dives deep into the rebellious counterculture of extreme climbing to get inside the head of Alex Honnold, the planet's foremost rock climber. What motivated Honnold to free climb El Capitan without a rope? "Because it's there" doesn't come close to explaining it. Synnott's The Impossible Climb does. -- Andy Hall, author of DENALI'S HOWL
Mark Synnott's The Impossible Climb is to climbing what William Finnegan's Barbarian Days is to surfing. -- John Long, writer, producer, and pioneer of 'free solo' rock climbing
Yes, The Impossible Climb is the gripping story of the most perilous rock ascent of all time - but it's much more than that. In seamlessly fusing memoir, reporting, social history, climbing lore, technical expertise and intimate glimpses of his tribe, Mark Synnott has given us a kind of epic of life on the edge. Even readers who have never set toe to rock are going to find themselves glued to this insanely brilliant account of extreme athletic ambition and endurance. -- David Laskin, author of THE CHILDREN'S BLIZZARD
An accomplished portrait of two remarkable lives * New York Times Book Review *
Fast paced and enjoyable. * Wall Street Journal *
Synnott, with the skill of a master craftsman, weaves into this text stories about Alex's climbing. . . . fascinating reading. . . . Synnott uses his experience both as a climber and as a writer to paint an incredible canvas. The Impossible Climb is not to be missed. -- Keith Sharples * Climber *
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Mark Synnott caught me, right from the start of this book: 'The Impossible Climb'. It was easily accessible to people outside of the climbing world, without holding a simplified or patronising tone. The... More
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‘The impossible climb’ tells the story of Alex Hannold, and his incredible achievement of climbing El capitan without any safety equipment or assistance. This book was tense and full of suspense even though the reader... More
“Crazy and Fascinating”
Mark Synnott recounts innumerable stories and anecdotes all describing the modern sport of climbing. The focus of this book may be Alex Honnold's incredible climb of El Capitan, but in some ways it is really a... More
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