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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  October 2, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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what? [ whistle blows ] we have an intentional change fee. good call, ref! ha, ha, ha. [ male announcer ] no change fees. southwest airlines. it's the right call. [closed captioning made possible by cbs sports possible by cbs sports division] [the captioning on this program is provided as an independent service of the national captioning institute, inc., which is solely responsible for the accurate and complete transcription of program content. cbs, its parent and affiliated companies, and their respective agents and divisions are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any transcription or for any errors transcription or for any errors in transcription.] jim: jim nantz and phil simms here in titletown. "60 minutes" will be seen in its entirety after the game. andy rooney's time appearance. great football fan. so much fun being able to run
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into him throughout the years. phil: he's a giant fan. goes and sits in the middle of everybody. jim: might have had a play on it. referee: kickoff out of bounds. ball will be placed at the 40-yard line. first down. jim: highest scoring packer start to a season ever. through four games. phil: you look at this offense, i said to everybody here during the commercial, tell me, what is your solution if you want to stop this packer defense? the first time i've heard all the guys at work be quiet. jim: matt flynn is in at quarterback now. phil: can't rush the quarterback, he's too nifty
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with his feet. they get rid of it. too many weapons to play one-on-one. they're going forward, it's just about their defense. jim: that's alex green who gets the run for eight yards. matt flynn is the quarterback. here's the schedule next week. green bay will be at atlanta. then they take on a struggling, that's being nice, the rams at 0-4, at minnesota, another winless team. look at this. not a team with a winning record. phil: minnesota, though, it will be rough. they're big and strong. of course san diego. here we are, of course we predict so fast in the nfl, you name somebody who is going to beat the pack this year, i don't know if i can name them but we know how the league goes. one day when you just don't have it, the other team, it falls right. there's no doubt the green bay packers, they're going to be in this playoff thing and talked about all year long as one of the best teams. jim: it's green with no gain.
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they'll be playing, wondering about the detroit lions and they'll be playing them for the first time at detroit on thanksgiving day. earlier today, how about the houston texans and aryan foster back running hard. they have 30 carries, 155 yards, dropping the steelers to 2-2. texas goes to 3-1 and the bills suffer a first loss. bengals come back to win it on a nugent field goal. dalton played well, led them to victory. and the lions roar back from 27-3 down in the second half. stafford and johnson coming up twice for touchdowns and how about the 49ers shocking the eagles. that dream team is now 1-3. third and 2. flynn gets the throw. cobb, no, off his fingertips and picked. intercepted by rahim moore and he steps out, the rookie at the 49-yard line. so moore's first throw of the
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-- flynn's first throw of the season results in moore's first nfl interception. phil: it was a good job not trying to throw the short pass because it was covered so he looked down the field and, you know, your judgment. that's all i can say. matt flynn, tough luck. it really is. to come and make your first throw, to throw a seam pass. i'm sure he said, that felt good. just a little too far. this denver broncos team, though, just to finish up, they're making a transition, this football team is. talent and speed. jim: ball taking the toss. for about eight. this was a denver team really in ruins when john fox got here. phil: defense, the worst, the worst and stats were true, the worst defense in the nfl last year. so trying to change it over from a 3-4 to 4 opinion 3, i
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know for the fans that means more defensive linemen, trying to get bigger, more physical. i think the transition -- i think it's going to go well. jim: the packers in on that play. phil: and the offense, just real quick, demaryius thomas and eddie royal, when they come back, two explosive players will make them a little tougher to defend, too. jim: jarius wynn getting a hold of lance ball in a hurry. no hurry to get another snap before the two-minute warning. so two minutes to play at so two minutes to play at lambeau field. isn't some optional pursuit. a privilege for the ultra-wealthy. it's a necessity. i find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists. quickly. easily. i use pre-defined screeners and insightful trading ideas to dig deeper. work smarter. not harder. i depend on myself the one person i do trust
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to take charge of my financial future. [ bell dinging ] so to save some money, i trained mathis team of guinea pigs to brrow this tiny guinea pig: row...row. they generate electricity, which lets me surf the web all day. guinea pig: row...row. took me 6 months to train each one, 8 months to get the guinea pig: row...row. little chubby one to yell row! guinea pig: row...row. that's kind of strange. guinea pig: row...row. such a simple word... row. anncr: there's an easier way to save. get online. go to get a quote. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. why did we build a 556 horsepower luxury car with a manual transmission? because there are those who still believe in the power of a firm handshake. the cadillac cts-v.
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manual or automatic, that's entirely up to you. jim: we're back at lambeau field and we don't get that chance very often to see the green bay packers having the a.f.c. package. but what are your thoughts? phil: everything i thought it would be. no letdown here. you know, i was expecting the offense to be tremendous today and they were. jim: pass tipped around, it's going to be picked.
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it is. peprah has it off the bounce. tipped up in the air by haukhauk -- a.j. hawk. phil: tight coverage, slot receiver, it's a blitz. they really -- what happens is, jim, they baited him. so the blitzer on the receiver goes but there's the linebackers, a.j. hawk, right in there to cover him. so that's what they want. dom capers started that or was part of it back in the, my gosh, in the early 1990's with the pittsburgh steelers where they would blitz and play zone coverage behind it, confuse people for a lot of time. very common now. but dom capers trying to get his defense, stop big plays, stop the middle errors. jim: dm capers, their defensive -- dom capers, their defensive coordinator since 2009. they get another carry to alex green. one last chance to recap the rodgers day if you're joining
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us late. again, it's nothing short of spectacular. four touchdown passes. in fact, his four primary receivers, i'll put cobb at the moment at number five, his first four wideouts all score a touchdown. jennings, jones, driver and nelson. phil: that's a great point. mike mccarthy says, we play them all, we don't say, oh, here's a special play, let's get this guy in there. we roll them in, he can work with all of them. jim: one more snap and they will be 4-0. it will be 10 consecutive wins for the packers when you include the postseason last year, going back to late last year. again tonight on "60 minutes", andy rooney's farewell. he's a regular on that great show. followed by "the amazing race," "the good wife" and "csi: miami."
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here on america's number one network. put it in the books. seven different -- seven touchdown passes in the game today. the four by ronk, the three by orton -- by rodgers, the three by orton. but the packers north of 500 in total offense and that man did it all. rodgers. green bay is 4-0 and the broncos fall to 1-3. the final score, green bay 49 and denver 23. coming up next, "60 minutes" followed by "the amazing race," "the good wife," "csi: miami." for phil simms, jim nantz saying so long from lambeau field. you've been watching the nfl on
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cbs. james: so green bay has now won 13 of the last 14 home games. this one over denver. let's take you out to miami at san diego. a 10-point game with san diego on top. let's join ian and dan. . >> ian: eric weddle, fourth ian: the chargers lead it 26-16 ian: the chargers lead it 26-16 over miami. matt moore throwing his first pick in to the injured chad henne. hand off to matthews to try to get to the edge. and a two-yard gain for matthe matthews. >> dan: it's very important for matthews and tolbert to make sure they secure the ball and do not run out of bounds. >> ian: miami uses the timeout. one timeout remaining for the dolphins with 2:47 remaining. for those of you just joining us
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henne suffering an injury in the first quarter. he did not return with the left shoulder. the bomb from rivers to jackson gets up and runs with it for the touchdown. then the running game took over. second half, tolbert going up top for the touchdown. the san diego chargers closing in on a 3 and 1 start in the first quarter of the season. this just momonts ago as moore had it picked off by eric weddle for his second interception of the season. >> dan: go back to that catch by jackson. you wonder if he may have injured himself. because he came in with a bad abdomen. >> ian: limited action since then. ryan matthews through the hole, and he's tackled just short of the 20-yard line by bell. >> dan: but jackson did his damage. just three catches and 108 yards and receptions. two really spectacular ones. >> a timeout called.
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sand sand will face a 3rd and 4. dolphins have used their third timeout. jackson, rivers, tremendous chemistry out there. of rivers has gotten used to working without a full array of receivers. no antonio gates. last year he dealt with injuries. patrick craigton going down. jackson had the long holdout. they worked in a lot of different players last year to this san diego offense and they came up short of going to the playoffs. this afternoon, rivers is down patrick crayton, the back-up receiver, and the rookie had a huge play that led to a touchdown drive. >> miami out of timeouts. this is a 3rd and 4 for san diego. trying to put this game on ice. ryan matthews, keeps the legs churning, and he's got it. first down. and that's it. game over here in san diego.
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and the chargers finishing it off on the ground. norv turner and company will improve to 3-1 on the season, and the miami dolphins remain winless. 0-4. four teams yet to win a game in the nfl this season. indianapolis, minnesota, st. louis and miami. we'll hit the two-minute warni warning. san diego 26, miami 16. back with the finish here on the west coast in a moment. ade's to. quickly. easily. i use pre-defined screeners and insightful trading ideas to dig deeper. work smarter. not harder. i depend on myself the one person i do trust to take charge of my financial future. [ bell dinging ]
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so to save some money, i trained mathis team of guinea pigs to brrow this tiny guinea pig: row...row. they generate electricity, which lets me surf the web all day. guinea pig: row...row. took me 6 months to train each one, 8 months to get the guinea pig: row...row. little chubby one to yell row! guinea pig: row...row. that's kind of strange. guinea pig: row...row. such a simple word... row. anncr: there's an easier way to save. get online. go to get a quote. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. why did we build a 556 horsepower luxury car with a manual transmission? because there are those who still believe in the power of a firm handshake. the cadillac cts-v. manual or automatic, that's entirely up to you. we don't just make luxury cars, we make cadillacs.
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>> ian: the heat is certainly on fourth year head coach tony sparano. the dolphins will fall to 0-4. miami has a bye week coming up. san diego takes a knee. so it's the bye week for miami, then at the jets. home for denver, back-to-back road games at the giants and at kansas city. >> dan: the bye week will help as far as the injury situation. getting henne back, perhaps. daniel thomas, the running back back. the injuries continue to mount.
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forget about davis, their best corner. that's really where the chargers hurt the dolphins early in this game was through the air with those bombs to vincent jackson. this will be the fourth time in franchise history they ian: the executive producers of cbs and direct the by suzanne ian: the executive producers of cbs and direct the by suzanne smith.
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ian: audio supervisor, frank lione. james stamos helping out as well behind the scenes. the san diego chargers improve to 3-1 on the season as they knock off the dolphins, 26-16. dolphins 0-4. they lose their quarterback, chad heady, to a left shoulder injury today. coming up tonight on cbs, "60 minutes" followed by a new "the amazing race," "the good wife" and "csi: miami." so long from san diego. you've been watching the nfl on you've been watching the nfl on cbs.
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you know something i don't like? chocolate chip cookies. >> safer: this will be andy's last regular appearance on this broadcast. when you first started the rooney piece on "60 minutes," what was the immediate response? >> well, how are you going to hate andy rooney on television? i mean, i... i don't say anything that's offensive to people. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories, plus andy's reflections on his wonderful life, tonight on "60 minutes." [ thud ] ♪ [ thud ] [ horn honks ]
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>> simon: no matter how many pictures you've seen, no matter how many reports you've heard, it's a shock when you get there. it wasn't the nuclear disaster or the powerful earthquake that swept the northeast coast of japan into the sea; it was the tsunami, a black wave darker than a nightmare. no town was hit harder this past march than otsuchi. in a matter of minutes, at least 1,500 people out of a population of only 15,000 were lost. otsuchi is so remote, very few people ever get there. but 14 years ago, a group of americans formed a bond with the town, a bond that has only grown deeper since the tragedy. the world was so mesmerized by the nuclear accident that, after awhile, these coastal towns were forgotten.
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we went to otsuchi ourselves to see what has become of a town that's on the brink of extinction. we got there just in time to witness a haunting ceremony-- drumbeats for the dead, buddhist monks marched through the remnants of this 800-year-old town chanting a requiem. ( chanting in japanese ) otsuchi reminds one of hiroshima 66 years ago. nature can be as vicious as an atomic bomb. 10% of the population was wiped out. it was a fatal lesson in the fragility of civilization. the earthquake alone was so powerful, it actually lowered the ground level of japan and moved the entire island eastward by eight feet. every day, high tide brings a flood. even months later, the survivors are still living in temporary housing.
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but everyone understands "temporary" can last a long time. this is otsuchi before the tsunami. and this is when otsuchi stopped-- 3:25 p.m., march 11, 2011. >> ken sasaki: this is my house. >> simon: that's your house? >> sasaki: yeah. >> simon: ken sasaki works for city hall in a city which has disappeared. how long had you been living here? >> sasaki: over 20 years. >> simon: now, when you came back here the first time after the tsunami, was there anything of yours left here? >> sasaki: nothing was left. >> simon: ken was in a meeting near the harbor when the earthquake struck. 30 minutes later, he heard an ominous noise coming from the ocean. >> sasaki: "oh, it must be a tsunami. i have to run to uphill." and then, i turn back. that was so... >> simon: it must have looked like hell.
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>> sasaki: yeah, it must be the hell. >> simon: nine of his relatives were killed by the tsunami-- aunts, cousins. ken-san, as he's known, had to live out of his car for three weeks. >> sasaki: it was terrible. it was so cold. there was no gas. no whiskey, no beers. ( laughter ) >> simon: ken-san is as unique a character as you'll find in japan. a music lover and guitar player, he learned english listening to the beatles. >> sasaki: ♪ get back to where you once belonged... >> simon: the ocean has taken things away from ken-san before. when he was two, ken-san's father died off otsuchi's coast in a fishing accident. when he was a boy, ken-san would gaze out to sea looking for his father. he always wondered what was on the other side of that ocean. when he grew up, he took out an atlas and traced his finger across the pacific. it landed on the town of fort
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bragg, california. >> sasaki: across the ocean, boom. so there are a city of fort bragg. >> simon: a straight line. >> sasaki: yeah. >> simon: had you ever heard of fort bragg? >> sasaki: no, no, no. i've only heard about the san francisco, california. like that. and then, i tried to find out what kind of city is fort bragg. >> simon: what did you find out? >> sasaki: it is the world largest salmon barbecue. >> simon: "the world's largest salmon..." >> sasaki: salmon barbecue. >> simon: "barbecue?" >> sasaki: right, right. >> simon: that's quite a distinction. ( laughs ) >> sasaki: and then, so, as you see it, our town has a big salmon history. >> simon: two salmon towns. >> sasaki: yeah. ( laughs ) oh, it... it's nice. >> simon: ken-san wanted to get to know this fort bragg, california. so in 1997, he sent a fax to fort bragg's city hall, inviting the mayor to otsuchi for a marine convention. much to his surprise, the mayor said okay. it was the beginning of a
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beautiful friendship. the two salmon towns started an exchange program. for ten years, people shuttled back and forth across the pacific. during their last visit to otsuchi, the folks from fort bragg held their going away party inside a tourist boat, just five months before all parties stopped. after the tsunami, did you get messages from fort bragg? >> sasaki: so many people send me many, many emails. that makes me cry, you know? >> simon: made you cry. >> sasaki: yeah, i feel so happy to get many message from fort bragg, my friends. >> simon: one of those friends was sharon davis. at our invitation, she came back to otsuchi, and thought she knew what awaited her. >> sharon davis: i've seen the pictures and the videos, but this is infinitely worse. >> simon: she was particularly concerned about ken-san, the man who had first brought otsuchi and fort bragg together.
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>> davis: ken-san, it's so good to see you. i know you lost all your guitars. >> sasaki: no way. >> simon: last year, sharon hosted two otsuchi students, satoko and nana, at her home in california as part of the exchange program. they'd survived the tsunami, heard sharon was in town, heard she was coming to their school. ( crying ) >> davis: that was like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. it was beautiful. >> simon: girls are okay? >> davis: they are. they're okay. they're strong girls. and for what they've been through, it... it really amazes me. >> simon: sharon brought a
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thousand letters from kids back in fort bragg. but some of the reunions were tough, so tough that when otsuchi's school superintendent spotted sharon, he tried hard to smile, but couldn't pull it off. >> davis:( speaking in japanese ) >> simon: sharon expressed her sorrow in japanese as she gave otsuchi's vice mayor a gift, a picture of his former boss, the mayor. otsuchi's mayor didn't survive the tsunami. he stayed in his second floor office at city hall, orchestrating the evacuation. >> davis: and he told his staff to evacuate to the roof. he stayed on the second floor and was killed by the tsunami, along with about 20 of his other staff. >> simon: the people who made it up to the roof were saved? >> davis: yes. >> simon: can't think of a
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better word-- "heroism." >> davis: he died a hero. >> simon: otsuchi, like every village along the coast, had a seawall. but the sea can always throw up a higher wave. otsuchi's wall fared no better than a sand castle built by children on a beach. the tsunami was so furious, it picked up boats from the sea and dropped them on roofs. and this one picture of this one boat has come to stand for the entire japanese tragedy. that has become "the boat," hasn't it? >> davis: it's the iconic image from this event. >> simon: and the last time you were here, you were laughing and dancing on that boat. >> davis: we were. ( laughs ) >> simon: it was the boat that had hosted fort bragg's farewell party five months earlier. it won't be seeing the sea again; it's being turned into trash. occasionally, you spot old people wandering through the wasteland, looking for something they'll never find.
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but bodies were still being found while we were there, three months after the tsunami. officially, the death toll in otsuchi is put at 1,500. think that's accurate? >> davis: i really don't. and i think that it has a lot to do with the way the japanese specify whether or not a person is missing. and until somebody reports them missing, they're not statistically missing. so in this case, if an entire family was lost, there's no one left to report someone missing. >> simon: it's not only people-- memories are missing, family histories washed up in the rubble. every saturday, photographs found in the wreckage are displayed at the high school-- a new sister, a haircut. happiness is recovering one's past. clearing all the debris will take years.
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sometimes, it's lifted by what look like prehistoric creatures; sometimes, it's lifted by hand. these people belong to the fishermen's union. they're cleaning up the beach by the seawall that let them down. this isn't an exercise bike, it's a gas station. keep pedaling, keep pumping. the signs say "never give up." the japanese never have in the past. but this one is a bit much. they are getting a little help from their friends, though. the people of fort bragg-- population 7,000-- have raised $180,000 for otsuchi. there was no paper, no cards left in town, so they wrote their thank you note on all they had left, a tarp. looking at the people of otsuchi, you'd never know what they'd been through. in japan, exhibiting one's trauma is not considered polite.
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sitting here, looking at all this desolation, knowing that you lost everything you had... >> sasaki: yeah, right. >> simon: yet, you keep on smiling. how do you do that? >> sasaki: i cannot cry, you know? ( laughs ) i don't want to cry. so, we need a smile. we need laughing. >> simon: before we left, ken- san wanted to show us something sprouting in the dust that was once his home... >> sasaki: yeah, yeah, look this. >> simon: ...a new hydrangea plant. >> sasaki: this is kind of a hope. it's life. >> simon: you don't know when your house will be rebuilt, but when it is, you're going to replant the hydrangea. >> sasaki: yeah, i hope so. we are living. >> simon: there's new life here. >> sasaki: yes. >> cbs money watch update sponsored by:. >> good evening, greece is cutting 30,000 government jobs but says it still won't
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meet next year's difficult sit targets. apple is expected to unveil the iphone 5 on tuesday. gas plunged another 9 cents last week to an average of $3.32 a gallon and dolphin tail won the weekend box office. i'm russ mitchell, cbs news. as the years go by, some questions loom large.
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>> logan: from time to time, we come across someone who can do something so remarkable that it defies belief, and, in this case, seems to defy gravity. it's the story of alex honnold. he's a 26-year-old rock climber from sacramento, california, but not just any rock climber. he scales walls higher than the empire state building, and he does it without any ropes or protection. it's a kind of climbing called "free soloing," and the penalty for error is certain death. we first heard about him in a movie called "alone on the wall," a harrowing account of
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one of his most extraordinary feats-- the first free-solo climb up the northwest face of half dome, a towering 2,000-foot wall in yosemite national park. this past summer, we met up with alex at yosemite to watch what he does firsthand. what you're about to see is someone holding onto a wall, thousands of feet above the ground, with nothing to stop him if he falls. here, alex honnold is 2,600 feet above the yosemite valley floor, trying to haul himself up the slippery granite wall of sentinel. he's so high, he disappears into the mountain. alex moves seamlessly across a section of flaky, unstable rock, pausing to dry a sweaty hand in his bag of chalk. there's nothing but him, the wall, and the wind. he's is up here without ropes or
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a safety harness. all he has is a pair of rubber climbing shoes. this is what climbers call free soloing, and it's so dangerous that less than 1% of people who climb attempt it. do you feel the adrenaline at all? >> alex honnold: there is no adrenaline rush, you know? like, if i get a rush, it means that something has gone horribly wrong, you know? because the whole thing should be pretty slow and controlled and like... i mean, it's mellow. >> logan: does the challenge appeal to you? >> honnold: yeah, for sure. or like, always being able to push yourself. like, always having something bigger to do or harder to do. anytime you finish a climb, there's always the next thing that you can try. >> logan: this is alex in the film, "alone on the wall". he's done more than 1,000 free- solo climbs, but none were tougher than this one. here he is, just a speck on the northwest face of half dome. you can barely make out the
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yosemite valley floor below, as he pauses to rest. he's the only person known to have free-soloed the northwest face of half dome. what do you consider alex's greatest achievements to date? >> john long: that he's still alive. if you look at the past, people who have made a real habit of soloing. you know, at least half of them are dead. >> logan: in the '70s, john long was one of the best rock climbers in the world. today, he's an elder statesman in the climbing community. >> long: it's indescribable what it's like to be up real high, because, you know... but you can get some kind of idea about it just by walking to the edge of a cliff or edge of a building. you look over and your body has... you have a visceral sort of effect. you know, you can dial it off with a lot of experience, but not at all the way off. >> logan: well, you just lose your stomach. >> long: yeah, and the... the real challenge about climbing without rope is the fact is that feeling can come up full bore in a split second. >> logan: and you have to control that?
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>> long: yeah, you're going to have... you're going to have to dial that one back really quickly. >> logan: or else? >> long: your diaphragm is going to close, you're not going to be able to breath. you have no chance. you're going to die. >> logan: alex learned how to control his fear at this climbing gym near his home in sacramento, california, when he was just a boy. >> honnold: it's kind of funny coming back. i remember it being like a big cave. >> logan: for seven years, this is where he came three hours a day, six days a week. he would climb until he was exhausted, then read old climbing magazines. >> honnold: that's all i was ever interested in, really. >> logan: your whole life? >> honnold: yeah. from when i started climbing, from when i was maybe ten or 11- - i don't even remember when, it was so long ago. but, i mean, that's all i ever was into, really. >> logan: back then, he was a shy, skinny kid with big ears. today, he's still skinny, but his five-foot, 11-inch frame is 160 pounds of muscle. for someone his size, he has big hands. they have to carry his whole body weight when he's hanging off the rock. >> honnold: yeah, i have pretty big fingers, so it's hard to get
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it into a thin crack. >> logan: show me. >> honnold: well... >> logan: were they like this before you started climbing? >> honnold: i don't think they were quite this big before i started climbing. i honestly think my connective tissue and stuff is, like, gone. >> logan: bigger? >> honnold: like, they just all gotten beefier, you know? i think it's all the crack climbing, like torquing your finger in different ways. >> logan: alex has acquired something akin to rock star status in the climbing world, where he always draws a crowd. this year, he made the cover of "national geographic." he's also in a nationwide ad campaign for the company the north face. but the kid who dropped out of college and stole the family minivan to go climbing has been slow to cash in on his success. so, this is really your home? >> honnold: yeah, this is. when i'm in the u.s., this is mostly my... my home. you know, it's pretty comfortable. it's pretty cozy. you know, it's easy to move around. >> logan: do you just park on the side of the road? >> honnold: yeah. >> logan: and go weeks without showering. >> honnold: yeah, of course. >> logan: almost everything alex
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owns is in this van. he survives on less than $1,000 a month. >> honnold: you can go anywhere. you know, tomorrow morning, i could wake up and drive to the east coast, and then climb there for the next two months. >> logan: he doesn't like to admit he's any good, which is why he's known to his friends as "alex no big deal". >> honnold: i'm not a very powerful climber. i'm more of an endurance climber. like, i climb these big, long routes. >> logan: is there anyone else in the world, right now, who can do what alex honnold can do? >> long: i think there's probably a handful of people who possibly could get close to what he's doing, but he's probably unquestionably the best guy alive today. >> logan: to capture alex free- soloing sentinel, we assembled a six-man team of experienced climbers who would film at different positions along the route. we attached four more cameras to the wall, and two "60 minutes" teams set up on the valley floor. but as the climb got closer, alex got restless. so the day before, he snuck off
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with his friend peter mortimer, an adventure filmmaker, to do something that would calm his nerves. he climbed an impossible vertical wall called the phoenix. >> honnold: i never would have agreed to go out there with, like, a bunch of people. it just would be craziness. and honestly, you guys wouldn't want to see it. like, it would be weird. >> logan: why? what about it would be weird? >> honnold: i don't know. i think it would blow your mind. it'd be weird. like, just the position is outrageous. >> logan: this is what he means by "weird." look at the angle of this wall. it's more than 90 degrees, and covered with mist from a nearby waterfall. the route itself is only around 115 feet long, but the cracks are so thin, his fingertips could barely fit inside them. towards the top of the climb, the angle of the wall pushed him backwards. it only took him eight minutes, but when alex reached the top, he was the first to free-solo this route in the 34 years since
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it was established. >> long: there's only a handful of people that can actually do that with a rope. and the idea that he's doing that without a rope, you know, that's... that's an amazing thing to even consider. >> logan: the next day, he was ready to tackle sentinel's 1,600-foot face, and showed us his plan for the route. over the past few weeks, he'd climbed sentinel with ropes and climbing gear twice to prepare, scouting out the best places for his hands and feet. then, he hiked for nearly two hours, just to reach the base of the climb. we watched him on a video monitor from half a mile away. how tough is this, as a climb? >> long: very. nobody's ever soloed the north face of sentinel before. nobody's ever thought about doing it before. >> honnold: i'm going rock climbing. >> long: so he's on... >> logan: look at that-- he's... he's started. >> long: now, he's off. spectacular. >> logan: so you almost have to, like, just stop and remind yourself-- i mean, he is up there with nothing. >> long: yeah, no rope. >> logan: nothing. >> long: nothing.
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right when he pulls into that crack, that's like the point of no return. it becomes world class right there. and he's... he's in it now. >> logan: i don't even like the sound of that, "the point of no return." >> long: well, you don't... you're not going to reverse it. it's too hard. that's the... that's the one thing you got to understand on these things. once it gets to this level, the only way off is up. you're not... you're not going back down. it's just too difficult. >> honnold: i like to think that i know what i can and can't do. >> logan: sometimes, when other climbers hear what you've been doing, they say it's "unsustainable," which really is their code for, you know, you can't keep doing this and stay alive. >> honnold: it's not like i'm just pushing and pushing and pushing until... until something terrible happens, i mean. i don't know, i just... i don't look at it, like, without perspective. but maybe that's why it's dangerous for me. you know, maybe i'm, like, too close to it and i can't tell that i'm, like, speeding towards a cliff. but i don't think that i'll continue to do this forever. but i don't think that i'll stop because of all the risk and all that. i think i'll stop because i'll just lose the love for it.
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>> logan: as he approached one of our fixed cameras, alex grabbed a tiny piece of rock and pulled himself up. in this position, most of his weight is on just four fingers. >> long: here's another one of the really difficult parts right here. you can see him... like, the... his fingertips are only going into the first digit. like, the line on your hand. >> logan: literally that's what he's clinging with, his fingertips? >> long: only... only to there. >> logan: one thing every free- solo climber fears is water. it seeps out of cracks in the mountain, and that's what alex ran into, half way up sentinel. >> long: yeah, see how he's wiping his feet off like that on his legs? >> logan: yes. >> long: it's wet. >> logan: that's not good at all. >> long: that's the worst of all thing... possible things. >> logan: it looked like your shoes did get wet. >> honnold: yeah, my shoes did get wet. so the big fear would be that, like, you step on... or you, like, climb through wet rock and then, without knowing it, you put your foot onto something, you know, and then you just slip right off it. that would be, like, the worst case scenario, like, thinking that you're going to step onto some foothold and then just having your foot blow off.
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>> logan: his wet shoes didn't seem to bother him. take a look at him as he climbed up to another one of our fixed cameras. he's so relaxed, even at this height. from up here, 80-foot pine trees below look like grass. >> honnold: ( whistling ) >> logan: and yes, he is whistling. then came the toughest 50 feet on sentinel and the hardest sequence of moves he had to make. if he moved too slowly, his arms would give out. but if he rushed, he could slip and fall. it's a position alex says he lives for. >> long: where he is right now, that... this is the crux of the biscuit, as they say-- the hardest part, and... >> logan: because, look at what he's holding onto. >> long: yeah, well, there isn't anything. it's also really steep right there. you can't... nobody... even alex honnold can't... can't hang indefinitely on his arms.
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they're going to give out. >> logan: and then, he's got to have the strength to pull himself up. >> long: yeah. and he's got to have... the footholds aren't that good. so he's got to basically paste his feet on, you know, over the ceiling and hope they stick. >> logan: alex somehow clings to the wall. as the camera moves away, you can see the river half a mile below him. he's through the worst of it, and from here, it's 400 feet of what he calls "easy climbing." >> honnold: should i go to the tippy top? >> logan: all the way to the top in just an hour and a half. the first thing he did before talking to us was take off his shoes. hey, alex. >> honnold: yes? >> logan: how's the view up there? >> honnold: the view is awesome, actually. i'm way psyched about the view. and the light right now is awesome, and all of these other...
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>> logan: alex honnold had just set another record, but for him, there'd be no celebration, just a two-hour hike down the easy side of the mountain. >> it took 14 cameras to capture alex honnold's ascent. go to to see how they did it. sponsored by viagra. ♪ [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you've learned a thing or two. this is the age of knowing what needs to be done. so, why would you let something like erectile dysfunction get in your way? isn't it time you talked to your doctor about viagra? 20 million men already have. with every age comes responsibility. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects may include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help
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