Following the ratings success of last year's Space Dive with Felix Baumgartner, Nat Geo is gearing up for another live stunt — this time involving one of the world's largest skyscrapers.
The network has announced that it will follow live 27-year-old Alex Honnold as he free solo climbs an as-yet-not-disclosed building. In an interview yesterday, Honnold — who currently holds the record for the only known solo climb of the Yosemite Triple Crown — admitted that he's never tackled a skyscraper before.
"Honestly it’s sort of all the same to me," he said. "The movement is pretty similar, and I still get to climb an inspiring and aesthetic feature. The building thing is just what TV people are psyched on, though it's a cool opportunity for me since I'd never be allowed to climb something like this otherwise."
Unlike the awesome helmet cam that Nik Wallenda wore during his tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon last month, Honnold says he prefers to keep things off his head.
"The camera men should be hanging on ropes on the side of the building," he said. "It should be basically the same as shooting on a cliff outdoors: I'll be climbing and they'll be dangling nearby. I won't wear a GoPro. I don't really like having things on my head, plus the footage is always kinda silly from the climbing point of view."
Nat Geo plans to air the two-hour live event, produced by Sender Films, this fall.
"When Alex brought us this incredible idea, it struck at the very heart of what a National Geographic global television event should be," National Geographic Channel President Howard T. Owens said in a statement. "Alex is the world's premiere free-climber, and we are excited to celebrate his adventurous spirit as he tackles his next challenge."
Check out a 2011 "60 Minutes" report on Honnold below.