Twenty of the world's top athletes and explorers share their wildest dream trips—a dazzling list of never attempted feats daunting to even these world-class competitors. For the rest of us, consider their must-do adventures—and start planning. —Kate Siber
Photograph by Keith Ladzinski
Alex Honnold isn’t much for dreaming. He’d rather be doing. “I don’t want to just dream about trips,” says the steel-nerved solo climber. “I feel like every trip I come up with I just go on it.” Now he has set his sights on a winter-long odyssey through some of the most beloved sport-climbing hot spots of Southeast Asia and Australia. (One of the perks of being a full-time sponsored climber: sponsored trips.)
Spending weeks casing the hardest routes in each locale, he’ll first stop in Krabi, Thailand, a climbing mecca with more than 700 sport-climbing routes on limestone karsts and other perks like gorgeous beaches and plentiful pad thai vendors. Then it’s off to explore up-and-coming climbing areas in Vietnam and Laos and to Yangshuo, China, a trove of hundreds of routes on limestone karsts, surrounded by rice fields and often shrouded in mist. The cherry on top is Taipan’s Wall in Victoria, Australia’s Grampians National Park, a wild 450,000-acre tract of forests, wildflowers, waterfalls, and otherworldly rock formations that draw climbers from across the globe. “It’s the coolest, best sandstone ever with really cool amazing unique holds,” says Honnold. “It’s supposed to be paradise.”
Next: See Alex Honnold's Must-Do Trip: Climb Geyikbayiri, Turkey
Climber Alex Honnold free solos—climbs without ropes—some of the world’s biggest rock walls. He holds several speed-climbing records in Yosemite, including the fastest solo link-up of El Capitan and Half Dome, which he climbed in about 11 hours—with a leisurely breakfast in between.