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Alex Honnold Bares it all in ESPN Body Issue

This may be Alex Honnold's freest solo yet. The climber is being featured alongside 20 other athletes for ESPN's annual Body Issue, which celebrates the human form in motion. Keeping with the magazine's theme, Honnold was photographed by his pal Cory Richards while climbing in nothing but his birthday suit. He even ditched the rock climbing shoes for an au naturale ascent. Hopefully, he didn't lose his footing during the shoot.

RELATED: Alex Honnold Answers Random Rock Climbing Questions

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Shout out to my dear friend and victim (for the shoot), @alexhonnold for putting up with me for the @espn body issue, out today. And a massive thanks to @espn for trusting me with this. // The first time I photographed Alex Honnold was over a decade ago when our respective cars were our castles, means of transport, and kitchens. I remember the drive from Canada to Yosemite as a jittery sprint fueled by caffeine and gas station cashews. The pictures I took of Alex back then left me wanting, as if there were a depth to his character that was expressed through his action but escaped my ability as a photographer. He struck me as an athlete more sculpted by his medium than any other I’d met. I wondered if his physical form was a necessary response to repeated stimuli or if he represented something entirely unique. Photographing him all these years later was an opportunity to celebrate him as form born of the stone he surrounds himself with, seeing him as wholly human but somehow simultaneously transcendent of that definition. Plus, it’s not everyday you get to tell your friend to get naked and curl into a ball and NOT have that abruptly make your friendship forever awkward... // Check back for more images from this incredible shoot.

A post shared by Cory Richards (@coryrichards) on

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