While Salt Lake is known to draw some of the world’s best skiers, climbers, cyclist, and all kinds of outdoor enthusiast, most are unaware that these athletes and artists are creating eclectic and incomparable subculture reflective of the outdoor adventurers who call Salt Lake home.

You might be surprised to know that Salt Lake is a bit of a vegan and vegetarian mecca. Healthy living isn’t just a result of mountain air—it comes with serious dedication and intent.

Alex Honnold (van dweller, pro climber, and all-around nice guy) calls Salt Lake ‘base camp.’ Alex lives out of his van, as it supports his lifestyle of ‘climbing every day,’ and uses Salt Lake as a jumping-off point. Due to proximity to the outdoors, as well as quality of life, Alex credits Utahn’s way of life as ideal for high-intensity climbing. Watch this video, and see for yourself why Salt Lake is so ideal:

Alex stands out from most other professional climbers due to his free-solo climbing. Free-solo climbing employs no ropes or protection—just a climber’s hands, feet, chalk bag, knowledge, preparation, and sheer determination. Alex is probably best known for free soloing El Capitan (a 3,00ft wall) in Yosemite. National Geographic described the climb as the ‘most dangerous rope-free ever.’ While most climbers take days to complete the route, Alex climbed El Cap in just under 4 hours. It was an incredible feat.

Whatever your perspective on extreme sports or diet, we can all agree with Alex on the fact that Salt Lake has a special gravity. Our predominant culture is well known, but an urban and eclectic culture is climbing its way up strong and steady, thanks to athletes like Alex.