Quantifying Greatness: What Alex Honnold Really Achieved on El Cap

El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

I left San Fran on the Greyhound bound for Merced. There, I walked to the edge of town, stuck a thumb out, and three rides later was stood at the foot of El Capitan, the 3,000-foot monolith that had occupied a large portion of real estate in my imagination for the best part of two decades.