Who does this? Mountain climber Alex Hannold is either completely crazy or the world’s most inspiring athlete… or both. Free Solo chronicles the personal and professional life of a man obsessed with his goal of climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome “Free Soloing”. That means no safety equipment, no harness, no ropes, nothing but fingers and toes. A good day for Alex means not falling 3,000 feet to his death. Whatever.
The camera crew captured every nail-biting moment of the climb to the top. These men are experienced climbers with heavy camera equipment hanging from ropes to get the perfect shot. There are close-ups of Alex digging his shoe into tiny crevices. You can even hear him breathing hard. The immense rock wall dwarfs him, illustrating how insignificant we are compared to the grandeur of nature. How does he keep his nerves at bay? Many people have wondered so they gave Alex an MRI, revealing his brain has no activity in the amygdala. That’s the part that thrills us when we zip line. Alex needs to literally risk death to feel alive.
He’s a single guy, go figure. Imagine inviting your date to the car you’ve been living in for eight years. Oh, and if deciding to choose between a woman or mountain climbing, the mountain wins every time. Alex finally found the right woman, “she’s cute and small, doesn’t take up much room in the van”.
Real heartthrob material.
Visually, Free Solo is breathtaking. Even dedicated couch potatoes will be enthralled.
As for Alex, he’s a self-described badass.