By Tom Evans

Yo... It turns out I was given permission to do the report, when I shouldn't have been, and proceeded.  That caused a big problem for the production team which is the last thing I wanted to do.  So I am taking down this report.  Obviuosly I am very sorry for having to do this but have no choice.  Maybe, after the movie comes out, I will again be able to post this report on my blog again.  Thanks to the over 360,000 readers who have read and enjoyed this particular Report and are stoked to see the movie because of having seen the Report.  Best wishes to my good friend Alex Honnold and I continue to wish him, all the crew and the movie the best of success.

Capt. Tom  


For historical purposes ...

Tom's original post can still be viewed in the WayBack Machine:

Wait... what?

How can anyone control what pictures you take in public? Nat Geo can't tell you that your pictures are their property, Tom. Unless you signed a contract ceding rights to them.

I would really like to know what's going on here. If they are being dishonest with you, I will refuse to watch the film even though I was dying to see it.

Report take down

What a crock of shit. This is the kind of thing that makes me glad I'm a climber from the Golden Age before all this commercialization shit hit. This just totally puts a stain on Alex's ascent. Ypu sot some photos from the Valley floor and posted a nice little write up about it and then this bullshit happens. Fuck all that. -- Old Timer

pulling down the report

You are being overly generous and have no reason to apologize. The Big Bad Media Wolves, don't own El Capitan or all rights to any photos taken during the ascent, or you, {at least I think?)!

You did them a favor. They should act like it.

Triple Direct

Tom, thank you for being an amazing resource to the climbing community. Your work has not been in vain. I know many climbers who respect you and are glad that you have documented countless ascents up the Big Stone.

I was in the party of three that Honnald passed on Mammoth Terraces (I was actually sleeping on Pharaoh ledge) that day. We were fortunate enough to be up there as he gracefully moved passe4d us. It was a pleasure to watch history unfold before our eyes. I feel pretty lucky that Triple Direct shares the first 10 pitches with Freerider.

Your photos are inspirational and beautiful.

Holy whatever...

You were actually one of them? Was it a chicken suit, if so why? I believe this an improtant part of the full story?

The real truth

It was a unicorn suit. The unicorn is an awesome guy named Forest Altherr.

There was no suit

We didn't have any costumes, though we probably should have! The chicken and unicorn were on the salathe, we were headed up triple direct (which shares the first 10 pitches or so of freerider). We were actually climbing behind Forest and his buddies the day before on the freeblast.


Thanks so much, Tom! Such an amazing achievement. So happy to be able to keep reading the El Cap Report! Cheers

Pardon my ignorance, but what does it mean for a photo to have..

... proprietary information?

And for my 2nd ignorant question, what was Alex's new feat here? Was it that he made this climb with no ropes and he's the first to do it?

Great photos and story - thanks for sharing! The climb and the photos are both amazing!


I once read that Alex climbed "The Triple" in Yosemite in 2012. The story noted that he free-solo'd all but 500' of the three routes.

What was the difference between that El Cap climb in '12 and the climb he made last Saturday?

Well obviously 500 feet of

Well obviously 500 feet of not free solo is huge. But those were speed climbs, I thought he did them in whatever style, so he would pull on gear or whatever went fastest. That is actuall the typical style in euro mountain climbing, why get killed by say the weather, just not to pull on a piton. But in Yosemite the whole deal was doing every move as if you were the first to do it, so they took pins out and climbed everything as they found it, at one time. But speed climbing comes with it's own rules.

He did this climb fast, but the point was to climb el cap free, not pulling on any gear, and solo, which really means unroped in this kind of situation. He wasn't solo in the sense of alone, the route has people on it and cameramen, etc... Solo means you fall you die in this context.

I can't believe no one is asking the REAL question...

Who are the porta ledge climbers, and when are we going to get a first hand account of what that exchange was like?

Alex & Tom

Alex, I've been a huge admirer since the NYT magazine article, particularly since I have acrophobia myself! Can't believe how quickly you made it up.

Tom, fabulous pictures which really capture the scale and difficulty of Alex's effort!


Great job Alex, great pics and story Tom. El Rapitan and coming back next year in July, hope to see you if your still in the valley at that time.

Thanks Tom!!!

Great report. I don't need to read anything else about this achievement. Still can't believe this happend.

What a fantastic climb

What a fantastic climb !

Heads off !

Nice one!

This achievement event, of course, will be written into Honnhold's prewritten obituary!

Thank you...

much for the photos and captions. I am 64 years old, and am not and have never been a rock climber or mountaineer. Yet, I can appreciate somewhat the incredible accomplishment Alex achieved.
Thank you, too, for helping me to being able to share in Alex's nearly unimaginable feat.

Story told through photos

Thank you for your dedication to reporting and supporting the world of climbers and Yosemite. This is fantastic to behold...Alex Honnold! I was last there in 2010 with my daughter and husband. An October trip, and we met you, Tom, down at the "bridge." We were camping and hanging with friends/climbers, John Fine and Mark Hudon, who climbed the Shield later that week. So glad you didn't retire! - Teri

Amazing... Any wider angle context shots?

Thank-you so much for these photos documenting the event, seemingly from close up, but in practice you must have had an enormous lens! It would be great to also have some wider context shots showing Alex as the small dot on this enormous cliff face...

Just amazing

I get sweaty hands/feet just looking at these pictures. Can't even imagine how he does this. Real inspiration for others.

I'll tell you how...

His amygdala don't work right. The man has little to no fight or flight response. His super power is no fear. None.

He did amygdala-boarding for

He did amygdala-boarding for 2 decades

Ropes everywhere

Thanks for a great peek into this unbelievable feat - great pics!

But why are there fixed ropes seemingly everywhere on this wall? Is this ok by american standards?

Or are they merely there for this photo shoot?



Fixed ropes

There are fixed ropes all over El Cap. Generally, they are used for hauling and decending. Some of the fixed ropes were also placed for the photo shoot.

Some were for photographers

Some were for photographers and some were for safe exit points if Alex didn't feel right about the climb.

Tom, Once again you have

Once again you have been there to get the "true facts"! Alex made history, and you were there to record it. 100 years from now your awesome photography will still be the standard for this historic event. Thank you for all you have done for climbers living their dreams, and for the world of climbing. I hope you will be there in September. Susan and I will be looking for you.

Well done!!!

History before our eyes

I have been following Honnold climbing trajectory for about 7 years now (maybe we cross paths in Sacramento one day at the Pipes, idk)... and what I have seen is really impressive. Probably he's the only human on Earth (in along time) that will walk on Earth knowing that there is no vertical-enough surface which is not climbable for him. No limits so far. I guess he now can say that his career is formidably outstanding. No other human has done what he did some days ago. Nice job Alex. Keep the good work. Greetings from Mexico. Carlos

Hola Tom

Tom, good to have you back, thanks for sharing such a "big deal"

I don't climb myself...

...but I'm riveted by this incredible journey and really grateful for how brilliantly you've depicted it, Tom.


Even knowing the outcome of this climb, the pictures still scare me to death.

Epic. Done and dusted at

Epic. Done and dusted at last...
Alex is the chosen-one.

So glad to have your

So glad to have your perspective on this. Wowza, thanks Alex for showing us just how big we can dream.


Wow, Tom, just incredible.

Tom amazes again

Thank you so much Tom and you deserve, as well, much kudos and glory for being there and dedicated to providing these "insider" photos and coverage. Always lovin the El Cap Report. Awesomeness and magic in the valley!

Great coverage and photos

Great coverage and photos Tom! R
This is terrific material, I am glad to see the solo accomplished, now I hope he relaxes and enjoys the afterglow of such a stunning feat of daring.

Bill Leventhal

While some of us were

While some of us were sleeping in on Saturday Alex achieved greatness congratulations

Thank You!

Solid photographic recount of such an inspiring event, with brief and informative captions. Love that Honnold had to wake up the sleeping camera man, I can only imagine being woken up by Honnold while he's in the middle of making history.

Thanks for all your dedication and for sharing this! Looking forward to the footage.


Thank you for the recap and the beautiful photos. Incredible job capturing this, and congrats to alex on being officially superhuman.

good one

Thanks for walking us through this legendary scramble up El Cap by A.H.

Ryan K


Congratulations to Alex and you as well time for the incredible photos and we continued success with your photography!

Thanks for the share, Tom.

Thanks for the share, Tom.

Thanks Tom

To those of us who will never see it up close, you bring us something amazing. Thank you.


Thanks for sharing these awesome shots!! The force is strong in Alex he is a frigging Jedi. Simply incredible!

Honnold solo

Tom, Thanks for putting up with all questions I asked the 2 weeks prior to Memorial. I'm so happy to see you were part for this historic event. You've earned it. A el cap guru. See you next May. Congrats to Alex glad he safe. Mark


Glad you were there to bring it to us Tom.

Thanks Tom. Love your photos.

Thanks Tom. Love your photos.

Amazing shots

Thank you! These made my palms sweat like no other photos ever have. You are a master photographer.