Man in red shirt rock climbing

Fast Facts

Title: The Impossible Climb
Author: Mark Synnot
Publication date: March 2020
Genre: Sports, Biography, Non-fiction
Recommended for: 13+
Rating: 3.5/5

Alex Honnold’s ascent of El Capitan was so much more than a single feat of human endurance. His historic no-rope “free solo” of El Capitan’s 3000 feet of sheer granite is the closing of one chapter of a longer story, the story of a community of people seeking a perfect, choreographed dance with nature: climbers. This adventure to sublime heights in the company of people who dare to master them is both a social history and a philosophical search, culminating in a four hours climb that would redefine the limits of human potential.

The Impossible Climb was a very good book. It tells the same story of the National Geographic Documentary Free Solo from 2018 but casts a different light upon the achievement. Instead of only focusing on the climb itself, it also gives a lot of the backstory of the people who led the way to Alex Honnold free soloing El Capitan.  It is also told from the perspective of the author, telling about Alex, but also giving some of his stories at the same time. I would recommend this book to any climbers, but also anyone who enjoyed Free Solo and would like to learn more about the topic. Overall, this was a really great book.

-Dylan