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25 January 2019

You don't want to miss this one! Free Solo

Alex Honnold free soloing the Scotty-Burke offwedth pitch of Freerider on Yosemite's El Capitan. (National Geographic/Jimmy Chin)

Hey Team!
Going to the movies is something that I really enjoy, but rarely do I come across something that leaves a deep impression for days (and I suspect for weeks and months). I had heard about this movie for a while, and kinda thought I knew what I was going to see. But, it was truly amazing and made a much deeper impression on me than I ever could have imagined.

Jimmy Chin filming during production of Free Solo. (National Geographic/Cheyne Lempe)

The movie Free Solo, is a documentary about Alex Honnold climbing the most outrageous wall one could climb, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without any rope or security what so ever. It is a feat so incredibly hard to really grasp and understand. Yeah, I mean I get that it's amazing, but not being a rock climber I cannot fathom what his feat really means.

Jimmy Chin [climber, photographer and one of the producers and directors] described it very well. He said, it's like everyone is talking about how to break the 2 hour barrier in running a marathon, which no one has done yet. Then this guy shows up, and runs a marathon in under 1 hour! The major difference of course being that if Alex would make a wrong step during his "Marathon", he would die. That is what Alex has achieved. It's beyond comprehension.

I'm a fan of Jimmy Chin's work and have written about the movie Meru previously. If you haven't seen it, I would recommend that you check it out as well. For Free Solo, Jimmy Chin worked together with Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi as directors, and they just got nominated for an Oscar this week! How awesome is that!

This movie is beautifully shot, and really captures so many different angles of this incredible story about Alex Honnold. Do not miss it! Check out the trailer below.

The directors of the film documenting Alex Honnold on his quest to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi. They're at the base of the cookie cliff talking through production logistics. (National Geographic/Jimmy Chin Productions)

If you like a bit more background to how the movie came about, then I suggest you listen to this great podcast with Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.


Wishing you all an adventurous, but very safe, weekend!

*Interesting side note: To help his body recover from all the training, Alex had weekly massages. He is a vegetarian since a few years back, and during the last phase leading up to this event he was only eating a plant-based diet. [From the podcast with Rich Roll episode #351]

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