This rock climber just conquered El Capitan without safety gear
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This rock climber just conquered El Capitan without safety gear

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
4nadia/Getty Images

Rock climber Alex Honnold is not only scaling new heights, he’s doing it without a safety net.

On Saturday, Honnold climbed El Capitan, a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park in California, without a rope or the aid of safety equipment. The amazing climb was a grand total of 3,000 feet.

I have tried many times to mentally transport myself into the head of @alexhonnold . Looking for comfort in what I knew...

Posted by Tommy Caldwell on Saturday, June 3, 2017

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The 31-year-old has been training for over a year for this climb, and according to UPROXX, Saturday was his second attempt. “Free soloing,” which is climbing without the use or ropes or safety equipment is extremely difficult and dangerous.

His first attempt was preempted in November because conditions were not ideal for the climb.

Apparently, there are several routes a climber can use to scale El Capitan. According to UPROXX, the “Nose” route was climbed in 1958 by a team of climbers lead by Warren Harding (not the former president) and it took 47 days. They also used safety equipment.

Honnold’s climb, called the “Freerider,” took 3 hours and 56 minutes. The route typically takes four days to complete with safety gear.

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Professional rock climber Sasha DiGiulian calls Honnold’s achievement “nauseating, incomprehensible, and insane. One of the biggest achievements in climbing,” on Twitter.

And famous rock climber Tommy Caldwell wrote a post praising Honnold’s achievement as “generation defining.” He wrote on Facebook, “I have tried many times to mentally transport myself into the head of [Alex Honnold]. Looking for comfort in what I knew was inevitably coming. Last week, high on Freerider, I still could not fathom being up there without a rope.”

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