The idea was simple: Go to Angola help rural communities, and climb some rocks.
Last fall pro climber Alex Honnold and his climbing partner Stacy Bare set out for the country's bustling capital and traveled to secluded mountainsides. They found adventure.
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Honnold is known for free soloing some of the world's most famous routes. That means by himself, without a rope. He's also set several speed records. When not on the rock, his foundation works on sustainability projects.
Years ago Bare had worked in Angola helping clear landmines before he started climbing. The country is recovering from a bloody civil war that spanned 27 years and left behind millions of unexploded mines.
Remembering how beautiful the rock formations there, he convinced Honnold to return with him last fall and see what they would find. Bare, who experienced PTSD after serving in Iraq, has said that climbing saved his life. Vice Sports filmed their trip.
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The duo visited a landmine demolition site, where they watched Halo Trust, a landmine clearance company, safely detonate a bunch that had been discovered. Millions of active landmines remain scattered throughout the country. Through the Honnold Foundation they helped set up a demonstration solar power project in a rural village in an effort to replace deadly kerosene lamps. Kids danced under a solar-powered LED bulb.
They also explored the country's mostly secluded rock formations, including an enormous crack that Honnold free soloed. "The appeal of soloing is the high consequence," he mused. "You can't mess up."
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Angola frequently reminded them where they were. While hiking to a towering rock in Pedras Negras, they spotted anti-tank landmines. In some places they needed to use a machete to clear a path. Once they arrived and began to climb, everything seemed fine. Then, while hanging out on a ledge chatting, Honnold suddenly became violently ill.
Turns out he probably just had food poisoning rather than malaria, but it was enough to slow him down for a day. Then he was back, full of good-natured energy. Honnold capped off the trip by scaling the Epic Sana Hotel in Angola's capital - without ropes - in front of a large crowd.
Watch "Crack Climbs & Land Mines" here: