Never Stop Exploring


Photo Courtesy of Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright take the ultimate risks and undertake the most rigorous challenges in the world of rock climbing. Supported by sponsor, The Great Outdoor Provision Company, Honnold and Cedar spoke to IB students on Monday, December 6.

“We started out, the both of us, as nothing more than climbers. We just loved to climb,” Cedar said.

This hobby has developed and enlarged for the both of them, beginning when Honnold and Cedar decided to undertake a ‘superfest’. This superfest combined numerous climbing adventures with a biking tour.

“I’ve been sponsored by North Face for 10 years and Alex has been for 6 or 7, and this was just something we were both really interested in doing. The biking part was a new challenge for both of us, I’ve only ridden a stationary bike a couple of times in my life,” Cedar said.

The biking tour encompassed the length of California, and the two adventurers stopped to climb every 14,000 ft. peak in the state along the way.

“I realized I was really bad at biking,” said Cedar.

In addition to climbing, Cedar has a passion for filmmaking. He toted a hand-held camera along the journey recording his and Honnold’s adventures.

“After the trip, I was watching the film and thought, wow, we have something special here. I edited it, and mainly just for kicks, sent it into the adventure film festival, Banff. Shockingly it was accepted, and that’s how Alex and I gained a following, ” said Cedar.

Concurrently while this was happening, Honnold was gaining attention on his own. Honnold is famous for his death-defying solo climbs, or climbing without ropes. He has used his fame to start up his own nonprofit organization, The Honnold Foundation.

This organization seeks simple, sustainable ways to improve lives worldwide. One of Honnold’s main projects is to provide alternative energy sources to homes that do not have electricity, specifically those in the Navajo nation.

“I’m really into environmental nonfiction, and it was brought to my attention that over 18,000 Navajo live without electricity, and I wanted to do something about it,” said Honnold.

In correlation with Honnold’s rise to fame and nonprofit work, he and Cedar planned their next rigorous journey, Superfest 2. This next adventure encompassed an 800- mile bike ride, 45 natural towers climbed, and ended with a visit from Honnold to one of his Navajo solar panel installations in Arizona.

“So we decided to tour the four corners (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona) where the majority of Navajo reside,” said Cedar.

The Superfest was a success, as Honnold and Cedar biked all 800 miles and successfully scaled the 45 climbs along the way.

“Compared to other sports, rock climbing isn’t as hard on the body, so I hope to be able to continue to climb into my 50’s. After that, though, I just plan to dive deeper into nonprofit work,” said Honnold.

Likewise, Cedar plans to continue making films after his climbing career ends.

“Funnily enough, Alex graduated from the IB Diploma Program, but they dropped out of college,” said Cedar.

“It’s true, I’ve actually gone back to my high school to speak. I talked mainly about how you don’t have to have a college education to be successful. You just have to have a passion for something and pursue it,” said Honnold.