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Dispatches Oct 23, 2018

Alex Honnold on 'Free Solo'

Alex Honnold holds all of his climbing gear atop the summit of El Capitan. (Photo by Jimmy Chin, Courtesy of Nation Geographic Films)
alex honnold

The new movie Free Solo is arguably the greatest film about climbing that’s ever been made. In just over 90 minutes, it chronicles Alex Honnold’s astonishing no-ropes ascent of the 3,000-foot sheer face of Yosemite’s El Capitan, which he completed one morning in June, 2017. Even more impressively, it captures the unique mindset of Honnold, a perfectionist whose years-long obsessive pursuit of his dream gets complicated by an ever present camera crew and his growing love for his new girlfriend. As you might guess, being the focus of a deeply personal Oscar-caliber documentary and then answering probing questions by a constant stream of reporters and fans has had an impact on the guy. Outside executive editor Michael Roberts chased Honnold down on his film tour to ask about the risks and rewards of telling your whole story.