Reaching Peaks Without Ropes

A Ken Burns iPad app, touchscreen subway maps, swapping sexism and more in our weekly look at the web

The word “epic” gets thrown around a lot these days, but occasionally it’s completely fitting—like in the case of this beautiful video of Alex Honnold making climbing history on the 2,500 El Sendero Luminoso (The Shining Path) in El Potrero Chico, Mexico. A difficult route in its own right, what makes Honnold’s climb really stand out is his lack of ropes, harnesses or any kind of safety net; one slip or crumbling hold and it would all be over. While the feat alone is visually stunning, the video explores the larger consequences of Honnold’s climb through the perspective of his friends, giving the video a more cerebral context rather than a stuntman feel.