Alex Honnold

Professional Climber & Environmentalist

The only human to free solo Yosemite’s 3,000 foot rock monolith, El Capitan. No rope, climbing alone. More people will walk on the moon than will do what Alex Honnold has done. His extremely rare skill and unmatched mental focus have helped make him climbing’s transcendent, breakout star, inspiring millions around the world.

Beyond his 2017 history-making ascent of El Cap, dramatically documented in the Oscar-winning film Free Solo, Alex is simply one of the hardest working, certainly most accomplished, and greatest climbers to ever live. His feats have blown the doors wide open on the sport of climbing, placing him at the front of mainstream media like 60 Minutes, The New York Times, and the cover of National Geographic. Alex continues to push himself, building on a singular resume highlighted by speed records on The Nose, the famous 24 hour “Triple Solo” of Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and El Capitan, and cutting-edge expeditions in Antarctica, South America, Greenland and elsewhere.

Humble and self-effacing, he is deeply appreciative of the position he holds in culture and uses it for the greater good. In 2012, Alex founded the Honnold Foundation, an environmental non-profit that provides grants to organizations advancing solar energy access all over the world. Their vision was simple: to improve lives and reduce environmental impact. In 2021 alone, Honnold Foundation supported 44 communities across 17 countries, all focused on community-centered innovation catalyzed by solar energy.

Alex is always looking for opportunities to share stories from the sport he loves. A host of the Climbing Gold Podcast, Alex explores the unique stories of climbing culture that originally drew him to the sport. Recently he’s led several environmentally-focused documentary and TV projects, putting his climbing skills to use by reaching hard to get to corners of the earth.

Alex lives in Las Vegas with his wife Sanni and his daughter June.

Session Info

Thursday, May 18 9:00 am – 9:45 am General Session | Hall B

A Brave World of Risk-Taking and Living a Life of Purpose

Alex Honnold is the only human to free solo Yosemite’s 3,000 ft. rock monolith, El Capitan. Jimmy Chin is one of the greatest adventure artist-athletes of his generation, respected for his groundbreaking climbing and skiing achievements and his award-winning photography, film, and book. Neither are strangers to dedication, hard work, unmatched mental focus, and taking calculated risks to achieve the impossible.  This keynote will explore unexpected paths to greatness, pursuing passion, and living a life that celebrates our planet and sustainability. You’ll hear how Honnold’s focus and work ethic propelled him to achieve greatness beyond any other human being. You’ll also hear about Chin’s recently released documentary, Wild Life, a story about love, conservation, and the founding of The North Face and Patagonia brands. Learn how these businesses, and yours, can achieve greatness through the pursuit of purpose. Hold on to your harness…if you use one, and get ready to be inspired!

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