Alex is a professional adventure rock climber whose audacious free solo ascents of America's biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world. A gifted, hard-working athlete, Alex "No Big Deal" Honnold is known as much for his humble, self-effacing attitude as he is for his big climbs completed without a rope to protect him if he falls. Honnold has been profiled by 60 Minutes and the New York Times, appeared on the cover of National Geographic cameoed in a major television commercial and starred in numerous adventure films including the Emmy-nominated "Alone on the Wall." Honnold is the founder of the enviornmental non-profit the Honnold Foundation, and to this day he maintains his simple "dirtbag-climber" existence, living out of his van and traveling the world in search of the next great vertical adventure.
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Currently Living: On the road, as cliché as that sounds
Height: I like to call myself 5.11d R
Career Highlights: Traversing the Fitz Roy massif with Tommy Caldwell despite having never led a pitch of ice before.
When did you first start climbing?
I started climbing in 1996 I think. I was about 11. Feels like a long time now.
What do you most enjoy about your sport?
I still just love the movement of getting up things. I like playing. But now I like traveling and going to new places too. And being outside.
How do you define success?
I never really worry about it. I pretty much see everything as a success. Doesn't matter how things go as long as you can learn from it.
What are you most proud of, either in life, your sport or both?
I'm not actually sure yet. Give me another 10 years to see what climbs really mattered and what still stands out. We'll see, that kind of thing is always more clear in hindsight. My life is still too fresh.
Who are your heroes?
Tommy Caldwell and Peter Croft. Both examples of really good guys who've managed to spend their whole lives doing the one thing they love most: climbing. Both of them are big inspirations for how I want to live my life.
What inspires you?
See above. But in a more general way, I get inspired by big blank walls. I really like clean, sweeping granite walls. So beautiful.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
I read. Watch movies. Etc. I don't really have "hobbies."
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sweets, though I don't feel guilty about them since I still eat entirely too many...cookies especially.
What are your hidden talents?
I don't think I have any talents. I guess I can make cookie dough from scratch off the top of my head. That's something.
Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:
Yosemite Valley. So glorious. So awe inspiring. Never ceases to inspire.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never really wanted to be anything, which is why I dropped out of college to become one of America's fit homeless.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
I would eliminate my love of sweets. Sugar is unequivocally bad for you, but I just can't stop eating it. It'd probably help me stay trim and healthy.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:
Too many to choose from. I always hate this kind of question. I get it too much.
Describe your perfect day:
Climbing with good friends on good rock in good weather. I feel like I have a lot of perfect days every year.
How would your friends describe you?
I have no idea, you'd have to ask them. Probably a bit different than how I describe myself.