He is the only person to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and holds the fastest ascent of the Yosemite triple crown, an 18-hour, 50-minute link-up of Mount Watkins, The Nose, and the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome. Honnold says he likes tall, long routes and that he tries to do them quickly. He is the author (with David Roberts) of the memoir Alone on the Wall (2017) and the subject of the 2018 biographical documentary Free Solo, which won a BAFTA and an Academy Award.
No, I’m not inspired to free climb El Capitan or any slope. I’m an 34 year old businessman still trying to figure out how to best live my life, and I left the theater last night in awe of Alex Honnald’s achievement — climbing an almost vertical granite wall in a little over three hours when, in any second, the slightest mistake would result in death.
Watching Alex do it — watching the joy in his face when he got beyond some of the most difficult challenges as well as on the top,\; watching the intense focus and concentration as he sought safe holds; watching what I read as his quiet determination and confidence when he approached the wall for his solo climb — these images will be with me for the balance of my life.
They will return to me when I need focus and concentration in the moment to achieve something. They will return to me when I need to build confidence and determination to achieve a goal. They will return to me as I examine and release thoughts of fear that I conjure up (but I’m not blessed, as Alex is, with an amygdala that does not respond to fear inducing visions).
Such a great documentary, and probably one of my favorite IMAX experiences. So glad I went to see it in the theater.
Beautifully shot and my stomach was in knots watching him climb. I knew he survived (obviously), but I couldn’t help but feel a bit queasy watching his ascent.
The entire concept of free solo climbing is hard for me to comprehend, even after watching this. It seems so antithetical to our instincts of self-preservation, and yet, guys like Alex Honnold thrive off it. Crazy.