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Sacramento native Alex Honnold completes most dangerous rope-free climb ever

FILE - El Capitan, left, and the Cathedral Rocks, right, are reflected in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park in late November 2006.
FILE - El Capitan, left, and the Cathedral Rocks, right, are reflected in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park in late November 2006. The Sacramento Bee

It’s quite the feat to climb the 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

It’s an entirely different accomplishment to complete that climb with no ropes or safety gear.

Sacramento native Alex Honnold became the first person do complete the latter early Saturday morning. In a story documenting Honnold’s climb, National Geographic said Honnold may have completed, “the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport.”

Honnold, a Mira Loma High School graduate, finished the climb in just under four hours, according to National Geographic. Honnold trained in the United States, China, Europe and Morocco in preparation for the ascent.

With Honnold hanging by his fingertips thousands of feet in the air, his ability to control his fear played a big role in his climb.

“With free-soloing, obviously I know that I’m in danger, but feeling fearful while I’m up there is not helping me in any way,” he told Mark Synnott of National Geographic . “It’s only hindering my performance, so I just set it aside and leave it be.”

A team of filmmakers accompanied Honnold as he made his ascent. The footage will be used in an upcoming National Geographic Documentary Films feature, according to National Geographic.

Last October, Honnold was one of three inductees to the San Juan Education Foundation’s Hall of Fame. Honnold graduated from Mira Loma High School with a 4.7 GPA and attended the University of California Berkeley to study engineering. However, he dropped out at the age of 19 to devote his time to climbing, according to the bio on the foundation’s website.

Saturday’s feat isn’t the first time Honnold has been in the national media spotlight. Both 60 Minutes and the New York times published profiles on him and was profiled in the book “Alone on the Wall.” He also has sponsorships from The North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva and Goal Zero, according to the foundation’s website.

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