Episode 22, Famed climber Alex Honnold prefers life in a van

James Raia

Climber Alex Honnold enjoys life on the road in his RAM Pro Master cargo van.

Last summer, Alex Honnold became the first free solo climber to ascend El Capitan in Yosemite. The accomplishment resulted in international acclaim. Honnold appeared on magazine covers, as a guest on late night talk shows, and he continues to be a speaker in demand at trade shows and corporate meetings.

Despite his celebrity, Honnold prefers a simple life. He owns and shares a home in Las Vegas with his girlfriend. It’s a short distance from casino mecca and home of the Voetbalwedden headquarters. Another view from his front door highlights a favorite location, the varied, step climbing available at Red Rocks Canyon.


Climber Alex Honnold enjoys life on the road in his RAM Pro Master cargo van.
Climber Alex Honnold enjoys life on the road and the simplicity of traveling to train with the conveniences of portability  in his RAM ProMaster cargo van. All images © Bruce Aldrich/2018

But for six months a year, Honnold spends his life on the road in a RAM ProMaster cargo van. It’s equipped with a three-burner stove, and a horizontally positioned mattress across the back of the van. It has all the equipment necessary for the athlete often described as the world’s best mountain climber.

The RAM van is Honnold’s third mobile home. He “destroyed” his family’s van during his early nomadic lifestyle. He lived in a Ford Econoline van for years while honing his climbing skills. His current road companion on wheels is parked in the driveway at the end of a street in suburban Las Vegas.

Like his climbing proficiency, Honnold is expertly skilled in space management. He describes the middle of the van as a “living room.” The cabinets and draws are packed with essentials. There’s a fingerboard across the inside top of the side door. It’s where Honnold stretches and strengthens his fingers. The van and its simplicity are just as Honnold likes it.

In episode 22 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia visit Alex Honnold at his home in Las Vegas. We revisit his climbing history, his life in Las Vegas and Honnold’s favorite lifestyle — life on the road in a van.

Article Last Updated: March 19, 2019.

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