US rock climbing sensation Alex Honnold visited the UK this week to team up with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) for a three-night-only Flying Solo tour.
Honnold is a Californian rock climber who is famous for making free solo ascents of big walls and breaking speed records. More recently, he’s been demolishing marathon alpine traverses such as the Fitz Traverse on the towering Cerro Fitz Roy in Patagonia which is documented in the movie A Line Across The Sky.
The BMC enticed Honnold over to the UK for the sell-out tour to give the British climbing community the chance to meet and take inspiration from one of the all time greats in rock climbing.
Honnold last shook up the UK climbing scene when he visited back in 2008 along with fellow US climbers Kevin Jorgeson and Matt Segal. They made easy work of some of our most iconic British routes on Peak gritstone, including Alex’s virtual onsight and subsequent solo of Gaia at Black Rocks near Matlock, Derbyshire.
Dave Turnbull: “We’re thrilled Alex agreed to come on tour with us to do his first lectures of this kind in the UK. It’s a real privilege to have him here and it’s been incredible to see how receptive our UK audience is to Alex; he’s basically the Usain Bolt of climbing.”
Alex Honnold: “It’s been great to see the UK climbing community come out to support the BMC and all the important work it does. Now I’m looking forward to sampling some of the world class climbing here, particularly in Wales on slate as it’s pretty unique to the UK, much like grit.”
The sell-out Alex Honnold Tour ‘Flying Solo’ kicked off at the Abbeydale Picture House on May 24 and rocked Manchester’s Comedy Store. Those fortunate enough to have tickets will see the final night of the tour on May 27 at the Beacon Climbing Centre in Caernarfon.
The superstar line-up includes top British climbers and BMC ambassadors Steve McClure, Hazel Findlay, Shauna Coxsey, James McHaffie and Calum Muskett, all perfectly heckled by funnyman Niall Grimes. As promised, nights of mayhem and tales have ensued.
So far the tour has raised over £1,000 for Climbers Against Cancer – a global campaign uniting climbers in raising awareness and funds for cancer research. This is thanks to the top quality raffle prizes generously provided by The Climbing Works, Rab, the north face, The Depot Manchester, Mountain Equipment and DMM.