Eat Like a Champion
Testing Forks and Knives, er, Spatulas With Alex Honnold
It’s not every day that you get to eat scrambled eggs with Alex Honnold, one of the best climbers in the world and the subject of Free Solo, the Oscar-winning documentary about Honnold’s harrowing unroped climb up the iconic Freerider route on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
In February, as part of a Gear Patrol story about his rock climber-slash-movie star existence, I found myself sitting in a hotel room in Beverly Hills with Honnold as he got ready for the Oscars. As we spoke with Honnold for the piece it became apparent he wouldn’t be able to eat anything for several hours, so we played good host and ordered him some food.
If you know anything about Honnold, you know he prefers simplicity. That means #vanlife over a proper bedroom; approach shoes over wingtips; and (true story) spatulas over silverware as he eats directly from the pan.
As a dedicated Gear Patrol product journalist, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for expert feedback. I gave Honnold three spatulas, taught him the technical terms for his utensil of choice (“flipper,” “handle,” etc.) and watched him go to work handling, scraping, and consuming.
As it turned out, Honnold was packing his very own spatula — as in, a spatula with his name on it, a limited-edition collaboration between Honnold and Black Diamond. No surprise, his version won (though a staff favorite came in a close second). If you want to check it out the Honnold Signature Spatula for yourself, head over to Black Diamond’s website; good news for anyone choosing to buy: profits from each spatula sold will go directly to the Honnold Foundation, promoting solar energy for a more equitable world.
Otherwise, check out Honnold doing some highly scientific, Gear Patrol-style product testing here: