“Alex and Tommy combine 60 years of elite climbing experience, scaling some of the biggest walls in the world, including El Capitan and Fitz Traverse in Patagonia,” said David Roger, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “Their class is the first time multiple elements of rock climbing have been taught in one place – and by two of the greatest ever. Members will have access to their thinking, how they achieved some of their bigger climbs and will even be able to follow closely as they climb.”
In their class, Honnold and Caldwell will take MasterClass members to an indoor climbing gym to demonstrate how to work with a partner to rope with a belay device and lead climbing; they will also cover footwork, grips and arm techniques. The duo will then teach members how to apply the skills they learned indoors to an outdoor environment, starting with tips and bouldering techniques. Honnold will tackle a traditional route, while Caldwell will climb a sporty route, each giving insight into their thoughts and decision-making abilities in the moment. They will also share the do’s and don’ts of sport, including the importance of responsible climbing and environmental preservation, as well as how do not to be a “gumby”, a cheerful term in the climbing community for a novice. Sharing stories of how they assessed and emotionally prepared for climbing challenges – and teamed up to accomplish the impossible – Honnold and Caldwell will have members leaving this class inspired and ready to tackle the difficult heights of their own lives. .
“Climbing as a sport has enriched our lives so much, and we’d like to share that in a way that can enrich the lives of MasterClass members as well,” Caldwell said. “Our class is an overview of all things climbing that will give you the tools you need to take up the sport.”
Honnold added: “Tommy and I have spent quite a bit of time and effort refining our own climbing, and we are excited to teach this course and share our knowledge with anyone looking to progress as a mountaineer. To be able to contribute to the growth of passions for the sport in this way is a great honor.”
Honnold is a professional adventure climber whose daring solo ascents of America’s tallest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed rock climbers in the world. A gifted but hardworking athlete, Honnold is known as much for his humble and self-effacing attitude as for his climbing ability, as evidenced by the profiles of 60 minutes and the New York Times and lead roles in Emmy nominations alone on the wall and Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo. He hosts the Climbing Gold podcast and is the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to fighting climate change by promoting solar power for a fairer world. Honnold is sponsored by The North Face, Black Diamond, The Sportiva, Ando and Stride Health and is a board member of El Cap Climbing Gyms. To this day, he maintains his simple existence as a “dirtbag climber”, traveling the world in search of the next great vertical adventure.
Caldwell is an American rock climber accomplished in sport climbing, hard trad climbing, big wall speed climbing, and big wall free climbing. Taught by his father to embrace fear and doubt and turn those feelings into inspiration, Caldwell laid down some of the toughest routes in the country and climbed 12 routes on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Considered by National Geographic in 2015 as “arguably the best all-around climber on the planet”, he believes it was the difficult journeys with little chance of success that taught him the most. This attitude is no better exemplified than by his first free ascent of the Dawn Wall and his first ascent of the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia.
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Credit: Courtesy of MasterClass
ABOUT THE MASTERCLASS:
Launched in 2015, MasterClass is the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the best in the world. With an annual subscription, subscribers get unlimited access to over 100 instructors and courses in a wide range of subjects, including arts and entertainment, business, design and style, sports and games, writing and more. Go in Anna Wintour Office, by Ron Finley garden and by Neil Gaiman writing retreat. Get inspired by RuPaul, perfect your pitch with Shonda Rhimes, and discover your inner negotiator with Chris Voss. Each class includes approximately 20 video lessons, at an average of 10 minutes per lesson. You can learn on your own terms, in bites or in a single frenzy. Cinematic visuals and hands-on close-up demonstrations make you feel like you’re one-on-one with the instructors, while downloadable instructor guides help reinforce your learning. Stream thousands of lessons anywhere, anytime to mobile, tablet, desktop, Apple TV®, Android™ TV, Amazon Fire TV® and Roku® players and devices.
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