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Meet Your Instructor

Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell

Lesson time 07:37 min

In their first lesson, Alex and Tommy welcome members to their class and give an overview of how the course is structured, why they’re teaching it, and what they hope you’ll take away from it.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Meet Your Instructor


 [METAL ON METAL] [MUSIC PLAYING] [FILM PROJECTOR] [HEAVY BREATHING] TOMMY CALDWELL: Everything that I know about life is kind of like viewed through this lens of being a climber. All of my craziest experiences, all my hardest experiences, all my best experiences are basically all somehow associated with climbing. ALEX HONNOLD: As a climber, you're pushing yourself to the limit. You're trying your hardest, and so you're failing constantly. And then the cold wind shows up and then it starts to rain and then starts to snow and you forgot your jacket. You don't have any more food, and then you still have to walk all the way back out of the mountain. Plenty of the time when you're like, oh, we can't go on anymore, you can go on. You just don't want to go on anymore, because it's uncomfortable or you're afraid that it's going to become uncomfortable. Can you continue? Yeah, you can continue. May as well keep going until you can't anymore. Climbing helps put the rest of life in perspective. TOMMY CALDWELL: Somehow, through the adversity of the climbing, brings not only do you start to crave those experiences of adventure, but then when you get back home, you appreciate home so much more as well. ALEX HONNOLD: If you spend a lot of your time climbing, most of the rest of life feels pretty relaxed. It's just, it's all pretty chill. TOMMY CALDWELL: I often think of climbing as like elective hardship. Like if you can kind of train yourself on how to deal with it through climbing, that's going to help you better deal with it when it happens unexpectedly. ALEX HONNOLD: The lessons that you take from climbing are really a healthy way to frame the rest of your life. - Attempting to free climb the famously steep face of El Capitan in Yosemite. - Climb that shocked the world. - Everyone has tuned in to watch these guys do the impossible. - What those guys did, it's incredible, it's amazing. - Alex has free soloed thousands of climbs. - With no ropes, how does he do it? - All right, summit. TOMMY CALDWELL: I'm pretty conflicted about the risk that I take as a climber. I think as risk is almost like a detrimental side effect. - It's like you're ashamed of your gift. - Yeah, yeah, a little bit. Yeah, that's almost like a good way to put it. I'm almost like ashamed of my gift a little bit. But I can't help but to pursue it. And then I have this friend who really like helps me pursue this weird addiction of mine. - Hands. - Yeah! We both have very similar risk tolerances, and that's part of what makes our climbing partnership work so well, is that we consistently make the same choices in terms of risk taking. It's just that you're known as the safe family man and I'm known as the daredevil. But like, realistically, when we climb together, we're choosing to do the same t...

About the Instructor

With more than 60 combined years of elite rock climbing experience, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have scaled some of the largest—and most extreme—walls in the world. Now, the stars of Free Solo and The Dawn Wall are teaming up to share their tried-and-true techniques for tackling any wall. From the fundamentals of footwork and body and hand positioning to mental exercises and advanced holds and movements, you’ll learn how to take on new challenges and push yourself further on and off the wall.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell

Stars of “Free Solo” and “The Dawn Wall” Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell teach lessons from more than 60 years of combined rock climbing experience.

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