Tag Archive for 'Alex Solo'

Oscar at “Free Solo”

 ”Free Solo, the film directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi that documents the audacious, first-ever ropeless ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite at the hands of American climber Alex Honnold in 2017, has just won the top honors at the 2019 Academy Awards, winning the trophy for Best Documentary Feature. 

The Oscars 2019 were celebrated at Los Angeles last night and the climbing world was interested in particalar in the film that painstakingly followed Honnold’s dream for two years before it culminated in his historic free solo ascent of the Freerider route on 3 June 2017. Almost a 1000 meters of sheer granite, with a delicate and technical first crux followed by the crux 7c pitch hundreds of meters above the valley floor, mastered by the 31-year-old in 3 hours and 56 minutes.

Honnold’s ascent without a rope of the Freerider route - a variation to the Salathé Wall freed by Alexander Huber in 1998 - is an absolute milestone in modern climbing history and the film, directed by the highly talented alpinist, climber, photographer and filmmaker Chin and his wife Vasarhelyi, captured a moment that was absolutely unique and unrepeatable. Immediately after the ascent in fact, The New York Times stated in no uncertain terms ”Alex Honnold’s Free Solo climb should be celebrated as one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.”

Shortly after his lone ascent in 2017, Honnold provided some insight into what had motivated him to delve into the huge unknown: ”For a few hours on El Cap, I got to actually experience perfection.” Last night at the Oscars, it was the documentary chronicling precisely this physical and psychological perfection that received the most prestigious recognition in the entire film industry.”

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