Ben Margot, File, Associated Press
FILE – This Jan. 14, 2015 file photo shows El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, Calif. An elite rock climber has become the first to climb alone to the top of the massive granite wall in Yosemite National Park without ropes or safety gear. National Geographic documented Alex Honnold’s historic ascent of El Capitan on Saturday, June 3, 2017, saying the 31-year-old completed the “free solo” climb Saturday in nearly four hours.
SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Honnold had dreamed about climbing the mighty El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without any safety gear for eight years. But every time he looked up the massive granite wall, he found it too daunting.
That was the case until this weekend, however, when the elite rock climber reached the summit in about four hours using only his hands and feet. The 31-year-old on Saturday became the first to climb the 3,000-foot (914-meter) granite wall alone without a safety harness or ropes to catch him if he fell.
“I was pretty much elated,” Honnold said of reaching the top in a telephone interview Sunday with The Associated Press. “I was probably the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s something that I thought about for so long and dreamed about and worked so hard for. I mean, it’s pretty satisfying.”
Honnold, who lives in Las Vegas, began preparing for his historic climb two years ago. He scaled the route countless times, rehearsing it while cliimbing with protective gear and memorizing each hole he had to grab and the way he had to position…