The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life

By Mark Synnott

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Product Details

Price: $28.00  $25.20
Publisher: Dutton Books
Published Date: March 05, 2019
Pages: 416
Dimensions: 5.9 X 1.6 X 9.1 inches | 1.3 pounds
ISBN: 9781101986646
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About the Author

Mark Synnott is a twenty-year member of the North Face Global Athlete team. He is a frequent contributor to National Geographic magazine and has written for Outside, Men's Journal, Rock and Ice, and Climbing. He is also an internationally certified mountain guide and a trainer for the Pararescuemen of the United States Air Force. He lives in the Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire.

Reviews

Praise for The Impossible Climb
"Enthralling . . . gripping . . . Much more than just an account of Honnold's mind-bending climb: it is a story of the complex friendship between the two men. . . . This compelling book reads like a thriller as it ranges over the rarefied world of extreme climbing. It is a portrait of fascinating people and of an extraordinary place, the Yosemite Valley."
--The Daily Mail

"Fast-paced and enjoyable."
--The Wall Street Journal

"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 on 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 Tribe, War, and The Perfect Storm

"The fascinating story behind an unprecedented feat. Mark Synnott has built something thoughtful and tense by leaning on his keenly observant presence in the moment and his decades of high-level experience. It's a compelling narrative confidently told, one that will resonate no matter whether you're a hardcore climber or someone who climbs nothing but stairs."
--The Maine Edge

"An engaging read cover to cover--delightful, shocking, thrilling, saddening, and motivating. Each chapter deepens the larger story of struggle and awe within the adventurer's life."
--New Hampshire Magazine

"Synnott adds depth, intimacy, and a hint of fear to Honnold's climb; more importantly, he adds context to the historical feat. . . . Through firsthand accounts and thorough reporting, Synnott provides a vertiginous window into the world of climbers at the top of the sport."
--Paste Magazine

"Bracing . . . brings Honnold's epic, rope-free ascent to vivid life."
--Harper's Bazaar

"A thrills-and-chills--and occasional spills--view of the mad heroes of free climbing . . . Fans of mountaineering will find this a winner."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will pick up this for Honnold but will be equally engrossed by Synnott's own adventures and writing."
--Library Journal

"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

"Mark Synnott's The Impossible Climb is to climbing what William Finnegan's Barbarian Days is to surfing."
--John Long, founder of the Stonemasters

"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