Fearless – the story of Alex Honnold

The NYT has a disturbing story about Alex Honnold. What if he falls?

Alex Honnold, 33, is the world’s foremost free soloist. To “free solo” means to climb without ropes or any safety gear. Mr. Honnold began climbing without ropes as a teenager. As he got better at climbing on his own, his aspirations and goals grew bigger. For years, he had his eye on free soloing the 3,000-foot peak of Yosemite’s El Capitan. In 2017, he decided to go for it, a superhuman accomplishment that makes up the arc of our new feature film, “Free Solo.”

How free solo looks like

and Honnold’s comments

What is the difference between the average attention seeker and Honnold? nautil.us/issue/39/ has an answer showing results of a MRI scan

Purl scrolls down, down, through the Rorschach topography of Honnold’s brain, until, with the suddenness of a photo bomb, a pair of almond-shaped nodes materialize out of the morass. “He has one!” says Joseph, and Purl laughs. […]
Inside the tube, Honnold is looking at a series of about 200 images that flick past at the speed of channel surfing. The photographs are meant to disturb or excite. “At least in non-Alex people, these would evoke a strong response in the amygdala,” says Joseph. “I can’t bear to look at some of them, to be honest.” […] “Nowhere, at a decent threshold, was there amygdala activation”

After having watched  nowthe excellent National Geographic documentary, I do not believe so much in an anatomical curiosity. As his father was suffering to Asperger (according to his mother in the movie) I think the key is more with some unsual development combined with some excellent extrapyramidal reactions.