The hunt for the following adrenaline rush by no means ends for Max Manson.
If Manson shouldn’t be hovering in the identical rarefied his father staked out within the pole vault, the 18-year-old senior from Monarch Excessive Faculty is following within the finger cracks of Alex Honnold, the rock-climbing legend from the film “Free Solo.”
As Manson places it: “I’m normally both combating gravity or making the most of it.”
With vault of 16-feet, eight inches, super-impressive for any prep athlete apart from Manson, he simply defended his championship on the Colorado state meet, the place no competitor can problem him.
Up subsequent? An actual problem: Hanging out on El Capitan, that 2,900-foot slab of granite revered as a temple by big-wall climbers all over the world.
“The subsequent journey? Positively climbing. My goal is The Nostril on El Cap,” Manson informed me Saturday. “However with a rope. After all.”
El Capitan rises majestically because the once-and-future king of Yosemite Nationwide Park. El Cap is vertigo raised to an artwork type, with iconic options such because the king swing and the good roof. It’s the stuff of climbers’ goals.
“Final time I used to be in Yosemite, we went to the bottom and climbed the primary 100 toes of it. So I’ve had a bit of style. However there’s nonetheless 3,000 or so toes extra to expertise. I’m so excited,” mentioned Manson, who had stood atop all of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado by the age of 12.
He’s the son of pole-vaulter Pat Manson, who gained gold on the Pan America Video games thrice throughout the 1990s and has sailed above 19 toes. Like father, like son. And the true star within the household on Saturday was Mia Manson, who gained the Class 5A women pole vault by clearing 12 toes. Like father, like daughter.
However test this out, Dad.
Only for kicks, younger Manson does backflips off cliffs into deep swimming pools of crystal-blue water. He has scaled the Diamond Face on Longs Peak. And as an aspiring film-maker, younger Manson crafts movies created from 100 % pure adrenaline, lots of which may be discovered on Adventures To The Max, his YouTube channel.
“Climbing is like being out on a stroll to me, besides you’re strolling straight up,” mentioned Manson, who focuses on vaulting throughout winter and spring, then frees his thoughts and turns his ardour unfastened on out of doors adventures the rest of yearly.
One of many larger thrills Manson has ever encountered? Nicely, on an excellent Colorado summer time day in August 2018, he climbed one of many Flatirons, and on the summit, Manson ran into the grasp himself: Honnold, the 33-year-old uber-athlete who grew to become the primary man to overcome El Cap with out the advantage of climbing ropes.
“I had suspected (Hannold) was within the Boulder space. Phrase will get round. However I didn’t know which flatiron he has doing,” Manson mentioned. “And I wasn’t anticipating to truly discover him. However I climbed up, and after I bought to the highest, there he was. I used to be like: ‘It’s Alex Hannold!’ And we bought to speak for some time.”
Did Manson get the selfie?
Nicely, that is 2019, isn’t it? Nothing turns into official till it’s recorded for posterity on Instagram, so Manson bagged a self-potrait with Hannold, each of them shirtless to indicate off their climbing abs.
“Free Solo” gained an Oscar for greatest documentary. I’d let you know it’s probably the most visually gorgeous sports activities film ever filmed, however don’t know for sure. Why? Though I did certainly attend a screening of the flick, I slumped in my seat and hid my eyes behind a large popcorn bin for a lot of the remaining 30 minutes, when the death-defying strikes Honnold made on El Cap scared the liquid faux butter out of me.
“As a climber,” Manson mentioned. “I left that film actually impressed to go to Yosemite.”
With one other state championship medal in his pocket, Manson is headed out this week on a visit to California, with the objective of taking a leisurely little stroll straight up the granite nostril of El Cap. It is a dude that clearly is aware of find out how to reside to the Max.