“Free Solo” highlights dangerous climbing feat


Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Max Karp

In National Geographic’s captivating look into the life of one of the outdoors’ craziest athletes, “Free Solo” details the journey of Alex Honnold and his climb of Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan 3,000 foot tall rock face. Released on September 28, “Free Solo” follows Honnold in his year and a half long pursuit of scaling the wall, but with a twist: he wants to climb it with no ropes, otherwise known as “Free Soloing.” It is a feat that no one in history has ever attempted, let alone completed, and Honnold is drawn to this because it establishes a challenge in his passion for climbing.

The main issue is that free soloing is extremely dangerous, and has claimed the lives of countless climbers. It requires an immense amount of physical and mental preciseness and calmness when climbing, not to mention an extensive amount of athletic talent.

Honnold has just about mastered the craft, doing daily push-ups, extensive practice climbs and strictly watching his diet at all costs, but one small mishap could cause his death to happen prematurely. The movie follows his journey to success, while also looking at aspects of his personal life, which has long been somewhat non-existent. Honnold has a girlfriend, a new thing for a person like him whom has long just focused on his climbing. “Free Solo” examines how this new addition to his life is affecting him and changing how he goes about his craft. All in all, “Free Solo” is a well-done film that is both captivating and thought-provoking, and which looks into the mind of one of the world’s most talented and unusual athletes of the vast outdoors.