Free Solo (2018) Script

Our next guest is a free soloing phenomenon, please welcome Alex Honnold.

Here is what I don't understand.

One little mistake, one little slip, and you fall and die.

Yeah, I mean, uh, you seem to understand it well...

Yeah. Yeah.

And I feel like anybody could conceivably die on any given day.

Soloing makes it feel far more immediate and much more present.

Does it feel different to be up there without a rope?

When you're climbing without a rope, it's obviously like much higher consequence, much, much higher level of focus.

You know, it's a whole different experience.

So it's not like I'm just pushing and pushing and pushing until something terrible happens.

I don't look at it, like, with that perspective.

But maybe that's why it's dangerous for me.

Maybe I'm too close to it and I can't tell that I'm speeding towards a cliff.


I like to differentiate between risk and consequence.

You know, when I'm doing these hard free solos I like to think that the risk, you know, the chance of me falling off is quite low even though the consequence is extremely high.

And that's kind of like one of the appeals of free soloing, you know, to take something that seems difficult and dangerous and make it feel safe.

So, do you think that, uh, being a rock climber has been a positive or negative for your dating life?

My dating life?


I think, uh, I think overall it's been a negative.

Um, I just travel too much and I live in a car.

Let's talk through some of the climbing adventures you've had.

The historic free solo climb, Moonlight Buttress.

When I did it, it was like, "Oh," you know, kind of groundbreaking, kind of extreme.

But for me it always felt quite easy and pretty secure.

Well, that wasn't where you stopped, because that next challenge then was free soloing Half Dome.

Half Dome was a huge step for me because it was twice as big as anything I'd ever soloed.

Free soloing is so dangerous that less than 1% of people who climb attempt it.

Alex has done more than 1,000 free solo climbs, but none were tougher than this one.

I got quite scared in some places, and then you start to panic a little bit.

And then you have to, like, reel it all back in.

What is next in free solo climbing?

Well, I don't know, I mean, I've thought about El Cap, like, for years and every year I look at it and I'm like, "That's really scary."

Um, well, I've never even wanted to really, or I've always wanted to but then I've always been like, "That's too scary."

I'm aiming towards the most beautiful valley on earth.

I remember coming to Yosemite as a little kid and my dad would always have a little cooler in the back of the car, and have our cookies in the cold milk, and we'd sit on these slabs above Tunnel View, which is, like, the most epic view of Yosemite.

As soon as you see El Cap it's like, "Oh, there it is, pretty exciting."

El Cap is the most impressive wall on earth.

Yeah, I mean I love, I love being in the van.

I probably feel extra comfortable in the van now because I've lived in it for nine years.

My first van, well, I actually stole the family minivan.

My dad died when I was 19 and I, I quit school.

There was some life insurance.

I had just enough to dirt bag.

Six years ago I was living in a Walmart parking lot and spending eighty-eight cents on dinner every night.

Living in a van is great but, you know, at a certain point it'd be nice to have a bathroom and have, like, a shower at least.

So you have a girlfriend now, I heard.

Hmm, trending towards one. Trending towards?

Hmm, I mean, she's very supportive about, like, you know, you have to do you.

Yeah we'll, we'll see.

But yeah, there probably will be plenty of girlfriends in my life, you know, in terms of, like, big climbing, lifetime achievement deals, where you're just like, well, like I will always choose climbing, over, over a lady.

At least, you know, so far.

How many times have you climbed El Cap?

Probably like 40 something maybe.

You ever free solo? -No and nobody has. Why haven't you done it yet?

Um, look at it, like, I mean, you know, think about it, it's freaking scary.

I don't know, so I mean I've thought about this since 2009, like, each year since 2009, I've been like, "This is the year," and each year I climb it and I'm like, "This isn't the year, like, this is fucked," you know.

So I'm like, "Uh." But the thing is I'll never be content, unless I at least put in the effort.

Because, like, if I do all the work and I'm still like, "This is messed up," then maybe it's just not for me, maybe its future generation, you know.

Or maybe just somebody who has nothing to live for.

When I thought about El Cap years ago, there were question marks all over the walls.

It's like I don't know about this pitch, I don't know about that pitch, like I don't know about this particular slab, there are all these things that seem pretty crazy to me.

If the ultimate dream is to solo El Cap, then I need a good map of what that will take, you know, like a, a mental image of what the hard parts are, where they are, what they will entail.

If I'm going to do it, Free Rider seems like the best route.

Oh, hi.

What's up, dude?

Oh, hey.

Oh, actually, I might as well just rack it straight onto my harness.

So, do you wanna lead the Freeblast or do I?

I feel like we should do what we did before which would be you lead the, yeah, you lead the Freeblast.

So, basically I'll just try to take it, like, as far as I can.


So Tommy just got here and they're going up Freerider.


I'm just gonna try to shoot this pitch and the traverse pitch and then I'm gonna jug out like a maniac.


Do we have enough line up there to do all this?

Yeah. Okay.

The idea of going up on El Cap with Tommy Caldwell is to get a feel for the route and just visualize it.

To see what feels scary and what doesn't.

Oh, God.

Look at those fixed ropes the first climb.

Tommy's been a hero of mine since I was a kid.

I didn't technically have posters of him up in my room as a kid, but it was like the same deal, you know, where I was like, "Tommy's the man."

Tommy really showed what was possible, free climbing on El Cap.

Tommy is the one that explored every aspect of the wall.

And most of the routes that he's put up on El Cap haven't been repeated because they're, they're basically too hard.

And then, ultimately culminated with the Dawn Wall which was his multi-year project.

I mean possibly the hardest big wall in the world.

I've been obsessed with El Cap for years.

El Capitan is unbelievably huge, kind of unfathomably huge.

It's 3,200 feet of sheer granite.

Looking at it, it doesn't seem right, it doesn't seem like you should be able to climb it.

I understand why Alex is obsessed.

El Cap has obsessed generations of climbers.

I think it was first climbed in 1958 by Warren Harding, and it took them 46 days over 16 months because they couldn't do it continuously.

They had to drill bolts into the granite and pull themselves up.

And then ever since then, it's been the center of the rock climbing universe.

I've spent 20 years of my life climbing El Cap but I'd never do it without a rope.

There's no margin for error.

Imagine an Olympic gold medal level athletic achievement, that if you don't get that gold medal you're gonna die.

That's pretty much what free soloing El Cap is like.

You have to do it perfectly.

Today I am playing through a lot of different scenarios, so thinking about the moves, thinking about the body position, and more than anything just thinking about what it would feel like to, to be in that position without a rope.

There are a lot of things that you can physically do on a rope.

Oh, God.

But then the idea of taking the rope away, you're just like, "I don't know if I'd wanna trust that little foothold. Oh, my God, my feet hurt so bad and I'm so pumped and my hand hurts.

I just feel pooped.

We're kind of getting worked.

When you've been thinking about something for years, that's a long time to be, like, sort of considering an idea without, like, really talking to anybody about it.

Especially someone like Tommy.

When I was climbing, like, up the endurance corner and across the traverse, I was just looking down thinking about, I was like, "Dude, this seems so scary."

I don't know.

That part is just so exposed and it's pretty.

See, that part again is like, at least you have holds though, you know.


The Freeblast slabs have like several moves where it's like, your whole life just depends on one foothold, you know.

Soloing is like such a weird personal activity.

You never talk about soloing projects.

I mean, I've done all my soloing without telling anybody, because I don't want any extra pressure.

The idea of climbing El Cap, obviously I get interview questions about it all the time, like, "Oh, would you like to do that?"

And I've always been like, "No, well maybe, we'll see. You know, who knows?"

But like in the back of your mind you're like, "Yes, for sure."

I used to be like a super picky eater.

When I was like 19 or 20 or, well, between like, 20 and 24, I basically decided that I had to start eating vegetables, and then sort of, like, systematically introduced myself to vegetables, like one at a time, which worked pretty well, now I pretty much eat anything.

I stopped eating meat maybe three or four years ago, um, mostly for environmental reasons.

Then once I stopped I also kind of got into the ethics of it a little bit more.

We'll just see how this comes out.

Yeah, I mean there are plenty of folks who probably think that this is, like, terrible.

I'm eating, like, canned chili and eggs.

Growing up, I mean, I didn't like eating weird foods, I didn't like bugs, you know, I was just like a total tweeker.

I guess I was quite a shy child.

Bit of a dark soul, I think.

Maybe melancholic is the word.

I remember really liking to play with my Legos and play computer games and, uh, and then obviously once I started rock climbing I was going to the climbing gym all the time.

But I didn't really have a whole lot of hobbies or interests.

I definitely wasn't cool, you know.

I grew up in Sacramento and the high school I went to, I was, uh, in an international baccalaureate program, so we were all sort of the intellectual kids.

So, in a way it was fine to be sort of a dorky loner cause, you know, the whole program was focused around that.

There was definitely a time when I started climbing outside more and I was just starting to road trip and go to campgrounds, but I was too afraid to talk to strangers.

So, I was doing a lot of soloing, or just a lot of climbing by myself just because I didn't know anybody and I didn't wanna talk to anybody.

It's freaking good, I've outdone myself.

Spicy chili really adds something.

As a kid I just love climbing trees and climbing buildings and, like, playing on things.

And when I was going to school here I was also climbing on all the roofs and stuff here.

Uh, and, uh, yeah.

It's actually kind of intimidating talking to groups of kids.

Like, when I was in high school I was mortified of standing in front of the class.

But, like, you kind of get through it and, like, eventually you feel more and more comfortable.

I don't know.

There's a question. Um, yeah.

How do you feel about being famous, just for, like, turning your hobby into your career?

I mean, I think it's the best thing in life to be able to take the one thing you love most and have it, like, work out that you can make a living that way.

You know, so it's nice that I now get paid to do that, yeah.

How much money do you have?

I've got, I've got, I've got probably like 40 bucks in my wallet, you know.

Um, but no, like, a, a fair amount.

Um, like, like, you know, say, like, a moderately successful dentist or something, probably.

Mr. K?

Alex, could you talk about your foundation a bit and what you're doing?

Yeah, so, I started a non-profit, um, I guess maybe four years ago.

Let's watch this piece of video so you're gonna get a little taste of that.

Climbing has allowed me to travel all over the world, which has really opened my eyes to how the rest of the world lives.

I mean, I see all these people, I mean they're like a billion people on Earth without access to power.

And so I started my foundation sort of as an attempt to, like, balance the cosmic scales.

So, I've been giving, maybe, like, a third of my income every year through the foundation to, like, environmental non-profits.

I mean, so, like off-grid solar projects, things like that, like, things that lift people out of poverty, but also help the Earth.

Ah, you get out.

Oh, hi. Hi.

I met Sanni, book touring in Seattle.

And then we just have been hanging out ever since.

I think, I think this is our very first date in Las Vegas, and I think we're climbing, like, a very easy multi-pitch together.

Um, you know I just took her up this big tall route because then, I kind of knew it would blow her mind.

Is she a climber?

Um, Sanni's like a little bit of a climber.

She, she's just starting but I'd hardly characterize her as a climber.

You see straight in front of us, there's like an depression that looks like a heart.


To the left of that, that's Freerider.

This is like the whole valley, like, we're driving in this highway.


And then this is, like, the valley loop from here to here, the main rocks are all, like, between here and here.

Okay, oh, maybe I should read this.


Alex was giving a talk in Seattle, in December last year.

I didn't know anything about him and I showed up.

Wait, you're wearing the same shirt in half these photos.

I know.

Oh, Alex.

Well, because I don't have anybody to help me with my wardrobe.

Oh and then, when I got my book signed, I gave him my number.

Which was sort of a joke with a friend but then evolved.

I just thought he was really cute but also brutally honest, but I'm really drawn to that.

Whoa, look how precariously balanced it is.

But he's also just a funny guy, he's weird.

You know, a weird dude, and I find it interesting.

Oh, we tree pose on the tree?

It's not wobbling.

It's totally wobbling, what are you talking about.

Just for you.

I'm waiting. ALEX: Oh. Okay.

When you start getting eaten by mosquitoes, feel free to just start climbing.

Just keep the Grigri on.

I'll wait.

Okay, whatever you're comfy with.

Having the girlfriend in the van is awesome.

I mean, she's cute and small and, like, livens the place up a bit, doesn't take up too much room.

I mean, it's, pretty much makes life better in every way.

Alex, you got me tight?

This is nerve-racking.

When I was lowering Alex, I was watching him come down the final section and the rope went right through the Grigri, right through my hands, and right through the Grigri and he dropped to the ground.

It was my fault that I didn't watch the end of the rope.

It was just like, "Oh, my gosh, what have I done?"

The x-ray didn't show much, but then they took the CAT scan and then they said it was, like, two compression fractures and.

But they only focused on they didn't focus on the lower.

Right after it happened I wanted to break up with her.

I was like, "Oh, this is bad for my climbing." But she said, "Is that really gonna make your life any better?"

I was like, "No, probably not."

This is gonna feel a little uncomfortable.

I said, you know, "I think we can move past this and I think you could have it all.

I think that you could have a steady girlfriend and climb."


As it turns out, compression fracture isn't too serious.

They said that I could climb and just be careful about pain management and all that stuff.

But it's just a little bit rattling.

Because I definitely know some people who have fallen super far and survived or, like, gone through a tree and sort of been okay.

And now I'm like, "I don't know, like, I don't think I'd be okay."

And so I imagine falling free soloing or something from 50 meters up, I mean, I realize that my body would just explode on impact.

In 2012, I was here for the first time and it was right before I went to Yosemite for the season, and that was like my best Yosemite season ever.

What was that, Alex?

I said you just passed halfway and, uh, the rope's actually looking pretty good now.

Yeah, pretty nice rock.

I think the climbing here in Morocco, it's good training for El Cap.

It's gonna make him strong, it's gonna get him good at moving through the mountains, it's gonna make him feel fit.

Flowing through the mountains in the ways that you do with Alex is addicting.

His attitude towards risk, it makes you feel kind of invincible,

which is emotionally appealing, but for me I don't think it's the smartest thing.


Climbing with Alex is, it's like a vice in a way.

It's like smoking cigarettes with beer or something.

It's like, I don't really wanna do it but I just, like, let myself do it sometimes because it's kinda nice.

Yeah, buddy! Yo!

Can you read me your journal entry for today?

It says, "Bey wall 7C+, one fallen crux, two pumped, need more fitness."

Do you ever put things like "Saw the biggest juniper tree of my life"?

No, not in the climbing journal.

Miss my dog. No.

And my mom. I don't know, none?

No, no. No. -All right.

Alright, Jim's gonna follow you guys down partway, Clair's gonna pick you guys up at the bottom of the gully going into the base.


And then we'll be shooting on the wall.

So, once we pass you guys, you guys wrap and then hike to the summit basically?


Jimmy and I have worked together for 10 years.

We've climbed all over the world.

We are doing the triple link up too, right?

I mean, by the time we get to Yosemite we're gonna be as Cheyne says, "Yoked."

The team that Jimmy assembled are all professional climbers.

The best possible crew for this kind of thing.

And so in a way, I'm like, "This is kinda awesome." You know, it's kind of just like I get to go climb with all my friends.

Mikey, we should put someone right here because if you lean out you can see the entire freaking route.

Then let's just put the 100 meter there and the 400 footer here.

Doubled up.

I've known Alex since he pretty much started climbing in Yosemite, 2008 or 2009.

I've filmed Alex a handful of times, free soloing.

And then we've also spent a couple of winters together down in South America.

So, uh, we, the time's added up.

Uh, I spend a lot of time with him now.

So, I'm scared because I don't wanna see anything happen to Alex.

I mean, it's one of the reasons that I almost said no to this job, and, I mean, I think Jimmy went through the same stuff of being like, "Do we really wanna be part of this?"

I've always been conflicted about shooting a film about free soloing just because it's so dangerous.

It's hard to not imagine, your friend, Alex, soloing something that's extremely dangerous and you're making a film about it, which might put undue pressure on him to do something, and him falling through the frame to his death.

And we have to work through that and understand that what we're doing is something that we can live with even in a worst-case scenario.

It's a funny thing, people who know a little bit about climbing, they're like, "Oh, he says he has it, he's, he's totally safe."

And then people who really know exactly what he's doing are freaked out.

My dad was always like, "I don't want you to go ice climbing.

I don't want you to free solo," you know.

Just not, I wonder if your dad had been like.

When he was my age, he had had like 20 or 30 friends that had died in the mountains.

And now I'm at that point where I've had, you know, 30 or 40 friends that have died in the mountains.

That many?

Yeah, I counted them a while ago.

I mean, like not friends but people in our community.

Yeah, people, yeah, yeah, totally, like Kyle Dempster and Scott recently.

People that I have met, yeah, I'm like, no, yeah.

I haven't had anybody die who I was, like, really, really, close to yet.

Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm. I don't know.

I think everybody who has made free soloing a big part of their life, is dead now.

John Bachar was a pioneer of so-called free solo climbing, he fell to his death this past week at the age of 52 from a cliff.

And we're sorry to have to report on the death of U.S. Climber Sean Leary.

Sean was killed in Utah and was found a couple of days ago.

Derek Hersey was climbing in Yosemite Valley.

His body was found Saturday morning.

Hersey climbed, as usual, alone without ropes.

Most people that are pushing the limits, they have this mentality of "Screw it, whatever happens, happens."

I think all the soloing he's done has trained his mind.

He doesn't get emotionally affected by it the way that a lot of people do.

And not knowing about the science of that is that's probably a product of your past more than it is just a genetic thing.

There's been a lot of speculation about, like, how I deal with fear and, like, how I'm able to free solo.

People are just like, "Oh, well, he must be a thrill seeker.

There must be something defective."

So when a writer contacted me about doing an MRI, I thought it's kind of cool just to go and get an MRI and, like, see what's actually going on.

You know, scan your brain and then see if it's all there structurally.

We're gonna start the task now.

Remember to press the button every time you see a new picture come up, okay?


We'll see maybe it turns out I'm some kind of freak creature or something.

I've had several ex-girlfriends said that I have personality disorders or things like that.

That there's something wrong with me.

Emotionally stable?


Ingenious, a deep thinker?


Tends to find fault with others?

Agree somewhat.

Climbing a steep mountain would be too scary for me?

I have trouble controlling my impulses?

Is depressed?


Is my, is my brain intact?

Your brain's intact and it's, it's quite interesting.

Those little two dots that are further towards the top of the screen, that's the amygdala.

So an interesting thing, do you have no activation in your amygdala?

There's just not much going on in my brain, it seems.

Um, do you think my amygdala actually just doesn't work or something?

Your amygdala works, it's just that it needs a much higher level of stimulation.

Things that are typically stimulating for most of the rest of us are not really doing it for you.

Maybe my amygdala's just tired, you know, from too many years of being all gripped.

I'm feeling quite fit, but, um, there's such a mental component to free soloing.

The big challenge is controlling your mind, I guess.

Because you're not, you're not controlling your fear, you're sort of just trying to step outside of it.

Oh, no, woo, sorry, Alex!

And when people talk about trying to suppress your fear, I mean, I look at it in a different way.

I try to expand my comfort zone by practicing the moves over and over again.

I work through the fear, until it's just not scary anymore.

Oh, no, no, no, no.

Oh, so slippery.

But, um, for years Freeblast has given me the heebie-jeebies.

You're standing on tiny edges, small variations in the texture of the rock.

If you slip, your hands can't hold you.

It's just the two tiny points of contact that keep you from falling, and when you step up, there's only one.


It's like, it looks so much better today than yesterday, but we'll see.

I probably fell about 30 feet.

We're up there, we're roped up, Sanni's belaying me, and then I just fell off, I don't know.

I just, I don't even know how, I just, like, fell off.

Show me how much you can go up and down on your own.

It's, it's like, you know.

I think this looks to me just like your straightforward ankle sprain.


So, you know, we say ankle sprain, but more or less an ankle sprain is torn ligaments.

Yeah. That's what it is.

...So what does that mean in terms of, uh, like hiking and stuff?

I mean, if I just, like, immobilize it and then, uh, still just hike.

Yeah, I mean, you gotta' get yourself through the first few days.


Um, but after that and it's just strengthening and rehab.

Well, and actually, can I make it worse really, through activity?

Um, you could probably do too much too soon.

Wait, you don't need to keep that right.

I can worry as much as I want internally, but if he doesn't do this stuff he'd regret it.

If Alex and I got married and had kids, I would feel a lot more willing to say what I thought about what was acceptable risk or not.

He should have put his shoe on.

Stubborn. Stubborn.

I thought you were, you know, walking and stuff now, I thought you're fine.

Oh, I am, but what.

Doctors said you were supposed to push it, Alex, come on.

Don't you want some watermelon?

Oh, well, good thing you have a personal slave to do that for you.

Uh-huh, I know, I'm pretty stoked about that.

All right, um, is it gonna be that no matter how I do this, you're like, "Why did you do it that way?"

I just want watermelon.

I kind of wanted to blame Sanni to some extent because you're just like, "Whatever."

I haven't been injured in, like, seven years and then it's like I'm hanging out with this girl that doesn't climb and I suddenly start getting injured all the time.

It's like you just cut down a tree.

When they say "active recovery," no, that doesn't mean you're walking all over the place.

I would be happy if he didn't free solo.

I've always appreciated that he never told me beforehand that he was gonna free solo or anything.

I could come down on him and say, "You shouldn't be doing that," and alienate him, and, uh, it would've alienated him because that's his, uh, whole life.

I think when he's free soloing, that's when he feels the most alive, the most everything, the most.

Feels the most.

And how can you even think about taking that away from somebody, you know?

I wouldn't.

I've been able to stand on one foot while I put my harness and my shoes and stuff on, and getting' this like kind of, a minor victory.

Um, I haven't put on my climbing shoe basically since I did it.

So swollen. So tender.

Unfortunately, crack climbing is all ankle-dependent.

And Freerider is 3,000 feet of crack climbing.

All my friends that have sprained their ankles in serious ways have all been like, "Oh, it's gonna be at least six months until it's normal."

If I can't get this done in the next month then the weather will change and I'll have to wait until next year.

You know, a couple years ago, I remember him telling me that he had never fallen unexpectedly in his life, and now I've seen it happen twice in the past, like, month.

But when you hear stuff like that, you start to wonder a little bit.

I had this dream the night before he called me that he had, like, wandered into our house and asked us, and, like, started crying, which really freaked me out 'cause Alex doesn't cry.

And then he had told me that he fell free soloing and started, like, revealing all of his injuries, like he pulled up his sleeve on his arm, and in my dream a bone just, like, fell out of his arm and it was all messed up.

And that, and it was this really, like, kind of vivid, but super freaky dream.

And, uh, and then the next day he called me and told me he hurt himself.

Hi, hi, Ingrid.

Sometimes, one at a time.

Hi, hello, how's it going?

Hi, guys. -What's up, Fitz! So we got Fitz.

Hi, Tommy, hi, Fitz! Are you gonna carve a pumpkin?

Nice, that's good.

That seems off.


Alex said, "I want nothing to do with the pumpkin carving, and I won't carve anything and I hate holidays."

I like having fun when I have fun.

I don't like being told that it's time to have fun.

Yeah, I think we need to a little more.

Whoa, she's squirming.

I don't know. Do you have a good grip on there?

You put that in my eye again, I'm gonna drop you.

Why does it not want to see us?

Just kidding, I won't.

He keeps.

You gotta lift him up more, you need to.

Bye, Tom.

Oh man, you should have a lot of fear right now.

Okay, 'cause' I feel a lot of anxiety.

No one in any part of my family has hugged during all my formative years.

I had to teach myself how to hug when I was, like, 23 or something.

'Cause I was like, "Everyone seems to hug, that seems like something I should get into," and then I started, like, practicing.

Now I'm quite a good hugger.


You see that the pumpkin is a van?

I did see it. That's a precious van.

Is it a cat?

I did the cat. -That's good. Look at that.

Um, I did it all by my.

Honestly, it does look good like this.

It looked terrible.

I think, yeah.

Part of the thing with the L word, you know, is saying love and stuff, is that, like, in my entire life no one in any part of my family has ever used, you know, that word.

My Mom has only spoken French to my sister and I our whole lives.

She's a French teacher, so she says, "Je t'aime" or whatever, and then my dad didn't talk about anything.

Nobody had an emotional bond with Charlie.

Charlie was probably what we call nowadays Asperger's.

Charlie's obsession, what everyone called monomania.

He loved to travel.

He lived to travel like Alex lives to climb.

When he wasn't traveling, things were not good.

Alex would do something and we'd call him stupid names, "Hey, bozo, don't do it like that," just demeaning things.

If you learn that about your self-worth when you're this big, I don't think that goes away.

I have no recollection of that.

I don't think my dad put down anybody.

I think my dad is like a teddy bear, but dad was pretty morose.

And then the thing is once they got divorced, then they both were, like, so much happier and it all seemed great, but he died the next summer.

It's really kind of too bad that he doesn't get to see how it all played out, 'cause he put so much effort into nurturing my climbing.

But who knows?

Maybe mom thought that he was, like, holding us back or, like, you know, not pushing us to achieve our full potential or, like, whatever, you know what I mean?

My Mom's favorite sayings are, "Presque ne compte pas,"

"Almost doesn't count," or, uh, "Good enough isn't."

No matter how well I ever do at anything, it's not that good.

The bottomless pit of self-loathing.

I mean, that's definitely the motivation for some soloing.

Here we are.

So I still never, like, quietly, quite understand what happened when you fell, you, like, do you even know?

It should be just kinda, like.

Uh, I don't know why I fell off, but I mean I know that my skin was, like, hard and dry.

It was like lightly raining kind of and like really windy.

Weird he doesn't even say he knows what happened.

He's like, "I, suddenly I was falling," which kind of surprised me because I feel like he's always so aware.

Or like maybe he's not always totally aware.

You know Alex talks about having this armor when he solos and I think as, like, a friend or a family member of him, you kinda have to have that same thing.

Like after that happened, for whatever reason, it kinda like waked me up more than normal.

You know, normally I'm just like, "Oh, he's got it.

He's such, he's such a beast, you know, he's gonna be fine."

But I just, like, am stressed out about the thing a little bit, you know?

Look, I don't wanna fall off and die either, but there's a satisfaction to challenging yourself and doing something well.

That feeling is heightened when you're for sure facing death.

You can't make a mistake.

If you're seeking perfection, free soloing is as close as you can get.

And, uh, it does feel good to feel perfect, like, for a brief moment.

My friends are like, "Oh, that'd be terrible," but if I kill myself in an accident, they'll be like, "Oh, that was too bad," but like life goes on, you know, like they'll be fine.

I mean, and I've had this problem with girls a lot, you know.

They're like, "Oh, I really care about you," I'm like, "No you don't."

Like if I perish, like, it doesn't matter, like you'll find somebody else, like, that's not, that's not that big a deal.

I don't know.

Maybe that's a little too callous.

My foot is improving, but it still swells up a bit.


Pretty epic rappel.

Uh, we're just commuting down the wall, kinda.

We're just having a good old time.

If you look at soloing El Cap objectively, there are probably six pitches that worry me the most.

Just off the ground, there's some insecure climbing.

And then Freeblast, Pitch 6, being the one I fell off of, which is obviously a total botch.

Then the down climb to the Hollow Flake.

And then the Monster Offwidth, which is super physical, difficult style of climbing.

When you're in the Monster Offwidth, some part of you is always being crushed in the mountain.

Imagine like the worst type of Pilates class in the whole world, somebody like flogging as you do it, and occasionally like sandpapering skin off your body, telling you to hold the position until you freakin' vomit, and if you lose the position you die.

The Enduro Corner, in and of itself, would have been the most difficult part of virtually any big solo I've done.

Your feet aren't on any specific holds.

What makes your feet stay to the wall is the amount of pressure that you pull with your hands.

The harder you pull with your hands, the more your feet stick.

The most demanding for your arms on the whole route.

And you've climbed 2,500 feet to get to the Enduro Corner, so you're pretty fatigued.

But the piece that I've always worried about the most is the crux, the hardest part.

To get past the crux, you have climb either the Boulder Problem or the Teflon Corner.

2,000 off the ground, each of which I've fallen off many times with a rope.

The Teflon Corner, which is basically like a 90-degree corner of glass, which is ultra-slippery, just fills me with terror.

Pushing against the two walls of it, with my feet on glass, my palms on glass, and trying to make these little micro adjustments to keep my balance centered so that I can push evenly on all four sides of it.

And then I imagine 2,500 feet of air beneath my feet, you're, like, that's just a crazy thing to think about.

The alternative is the Boulder Problem.

But the Boulder Problem has a 10-foot section that's incredibly difficult.

It's a very intricate sequence.

You've got your right hand on a crimp, left hand on a side pole, and then you put your right foot onto this dimple thing.

Right hand goes up to a small down-pulling crimp, left foot goes into a little dish,

and then you drive up off the left foot into the thumb press.

That's the worst hold on the entire route.

So, you get maybe half your thumb on the hold.

Then you roll your two fingers over the thumb, switch your feet, left foot stems out to this really bad sloping black foothold.

Switch your thumbs.

And then reach out left to a big sloping bread loaf type hold that feels kind of grainy.

From there, you either karate kick or double-dyno to an edge on the opposite wall.

In some ways, it makes more sense to do the big two-handed jump because you're jumping to a good edge so there's actually something to catch.

But the idea of jumping without a rope seems completely outrageous, if you miss it, that's that.

But then the karate kick always feels like you're falling into the other wall, which also feels outrageous for soloing.

Honestly, it wasn't like, I mean I felt, like, pretty strong just pinching that shit and just being that, put the foot.

Well, as I said, when you actually put your foot out there, I was like, "Well, that doesn't look that bad."

Yeah, it's not like crazy, but we'll see.

Did you take Ibuprofen this morning?

Uh-hmm, I mean, I'm going to right now also.

For your ankle? Uh-hmm.

Hmm, I'm not, like, super stoked when he goes soloing, because he's already a big part of my life.

I tell Alex I love him all the time, and he shows me that he loves me all the time.

And really just dive in.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But I also tell him that I also need words of affection.

Yeah. We work on that.

In terms of learning how to communicate emotion, Alex has a long way to go.

And I said, "Sometimes I'm gonna tell you how I feel, and I just need you to say it totally makes sense that you feel that way."

He was like, "Yeah, I can understand why you feel that way."

I was like, "I don't really think that you do, but I'm glad that you're trying."

Alex, we have excellent team skills.

Well, I thought, I feel like we're not quite killin' it, but we're, I think we're doin' well.

Really? I think we're doing great.

I'm very happy for Alex and Sanni that it works so well.

And I'm, I think I'm just impressed by their relationship,

but to free solo at that level, you really have to have the mental armor.

Having that romantic relationship around is detrimental to that armor.

You have to focus and inherently a close romantic relationship removes that armor.

You kinda can't have both at the same time.

There's always something that has to give you the confidence to go out and free solo a route.

So sometimes, that confidence just comes from feeling super, super fit.

Sometimes, that confidence comes through preparation and rehearsal.

But I mean there's always something that makes you feel ready.

There's something to be said for, like, soloing a bunch of pitches to, like, get into that right space.

It's a little stressful.

It's just, it's unreal.


And as much as I trust Alex and I know that he's really methodical, uh, if you're pushing the edge, eventually you find the edge.

But then there's just some things that you're, like, well, you just have to push that far because they're just, they're just that cool.

And El Cap is that cool.

There's incremental advances that happen in all kinds of things, but every once in a while there's just this iconic leap, soloing El Cap, if he pulls this off, is this quantum leap.

It is hard to imagine somebody up there by themselves, without a rope, where it's pretty much all the other big cliffs around here.

I can kinda get it.

How many times have you soloed both those routes now?

Well, Astroman, three or four times, but the Rostrum, I mean, literally, like, fifty, sixty.

Wait, you've soloed the Rostrum 50 or 60 times?

It was like part of the circuit and I would, I would go there and I would do it at least twice.

Like I was just glommed on.


Not like I had a fear, but just kind of like this is how.

Yeah, because you're so tight. You know, I love that about soloing.

My footwork gets really good.

Yeah, really, yeah totally, yeah.

But it's not for anybody else, this is just for me.

Yeah, yeah, just because you feel like you're.

And after Astroman, people were like, "Ah, we wanna film you, film you up there," and I'm like, "Not interested, not even slightly."

For me, it was so incredibly important to be doing it for the right reasons.

I mean, I think I'm still doing everything for the right reasons, and I'm still totally stoked, but I feel like from the outside observer, you know, they'd be like, "Oh, he's got a movie crew," like clearly that's the wrong reasons, you know.

The worst thing about having a film crew is if it changes your mindset.

I think Alex is almost ready to do it.

He just wants to take a few more practice laps.

And we're just trying to figure out all of our camera positions.

I mean the soloing headspace is so fragile.

We wanna film it well, but it's about not getting in his way and making sure he has the experience he wants.

The worst possible scenario is that one of us would do something that would kill him.

Is it gonna be the drone?

Is it gonna be one of the ropes?

Is it gonna be us accidently knocking off a rock?

The idea of falling off is, you know, obviously I'm trying to avoid that, but it's like kind of okay if it's just by myself.

But, like, I wouldn't wanna fall off right in front of my friends, 'cause that's like, that's kind of messed up.

Where are you comfortable with us being essentially?

Well, do you have like.

The traverse into it?

Uh-hmm. Yeah.

And then a, just a camera above, sitting above the Boulder Pitch, essentially.

Yeah. -It's distracting. Yeah, it's distracting.

Well, it's not just distracting, but it's also like, you know, nobody wants to see that, I don't know.

Like, yeah, I don't, yeah, it's better not to.

Some things you're like, meh.

Yeah, okay.

So should I rally into the valley and try to like round out plans?

Yeah, yeah.

Um, the moon set at 4:50 behind the ridge.

The spire was touched by the sun at 7:30 and by 8:05, the sun was to the crux probably.

8:05? Okay.

You don't want it to be sunny when you get to the crux, and it takes three or four hours to get up to the Boulder Problem, and it's fall so in order to beat the sun, you basically have to start in the dark.

I kinda think just leave the ground at 4:00 again, basically.

I don't know.

I'm starting to get kind of psyched.

The moment of just letting go to it is in some ways the most peaceful because then it's like you just do your thing.

There's no more stress, there's no more anxiety, there's no fear, whatever, you just go up and do it.

I put on my tight shoes today, it's like very exciting.

It would be, like, it would be like a samurai pulling out his favorite sword, you know like, "Oh, my gosh," you know, and now I'm like, "Oh, time for the, the finely crafted blade."

So stoked. I like sinking into it.

It's, it goes with the Jedi thing, the samurai with the, and then I just started taking Ibuprofen.

I've been, like, icing a bunch and, like, I think my foot's gonna be pretty good.

Yeah, what does Sanni say when you talk to her about it?

Um, I mean I haven't talked to her that much.

She's been, like, asking a lot of questions like, "Oh, you know, how's it?"

And I'm, I just haven't really like, I'm just like, "Oh, we'll see, we'll see."

You know, the fewer people know anything, the better really.

I had a dream and you were limping and you were like, had caught, had like made the exact same fall and fallen on your ankle in the exact same way.

That's really nice, San San.

It was like tragic.

I love hearing stories about that.

I woke up, like, "Oh my gosh. I hope that didn't happen."

That's, that's really nice.

Um, what is your, is your daypack?

They're bringing it up there for you and Peter?

Um, no.

For me tomorrow, probably.

For on the mountain?

Um, for the summit, yeah.

Hmm, you and Peter are gonna try and do the whole thing?

Uh, no, Peter won't be here for a couple of days probably.

Oh, who are you climbing with tomorrow?

Um, yeah, we'll just see.

Oh, okay, okay.

Wait, so are you thinking of soloing it tomorrow, is that why you're not telling me who you're climbing with?

Um, well, I'm not like not telling you, but yeah.

Whoa, Alex.

Whoa. Whoa. -Whoa.

How do you feel?

I'm, you know, I mean, excited.

That's really exciting. Is it that feeling when you're like...

So exciting I'm gonna go right back to my book.

Where you're like, no, I'm not reading it.

When did you decide?

When did you decide to do it tomorrow?

No, just, you know, uh, yesterday or the day before or something.

Hmm, I'm processing.

I wanna, like I wanna have this more, like, holistic approach that you have where you're like "Well, we're all gonna die, like might as well do what we wanna do while we're here and it's okay when people die," but I feel like I want you to meet me halfway and when you solo to take me into the equation and then I think you said...

Is there a question? -Some, there's going to be. -Okay.

Um, would putting me into the equation actually ever change anything?

Would you actually make decisions differently?

If I had some kind of obligation to maximize my lifespan, then like yeah, obviously I'd have to give up soloing and, um.

Was me asking you, do you see that as an obligation now?

...Uh, no, no.


No, but I appreciate your concerns and I, you know, I respect that, but, but I, in no way, feel obligated, no.

To maximize lifetime?

No, no, I don't know.

Um, but I mean like you saying, "Be safer," I'm kinda like well, I mean I can't.

You know, I'm already doing my best.

So I could just, like, not do certain things, but then you have, like, weird simmering resentment because it's things that you love most in life have now been squashed.

You know what I mean?

What time is it? -3:30. Oh.

I just woke up one minute before my alarm.

Yeah, you woke up before or after?

One minute before.

It's like always about, like, excellence and perfection.

And I was certainly raised that way, you know, that you need to, you need to perform.

It's also just like kind of rad because you're doing something for the first time in human history.

Let's hope it's a low gravity day.

Bye, Huck, see you at the ground.

Meet you in the ground. See you, buddy.

This sucks. I don't wanna be here.

I'm over it.

What happened?

I cheated on the slab down there.

Might as well radio it.

Do you wanna talk to him?

I don't even know what to say, it's, like, kind of embarrassing.

Uh, hey, whoever's on the radio, this is Alex.

Um, I think I'm bailing.

Wait, could you repeat?

I think he's bailing from heart.

Bailing from heart, that's correct.

It's kind of disturbing.

Yeah, I wonder what it was.

I don't know if I can try with everybody watching.

It's too scary.

Just can't, like, try for real.

Oh, my gosh. -Good morning. What are you doing?

Oh, I bailed.

You bailed, oh?

Yeah, it's chilly outside.

It's chilly, okay.


What's going on?

Well, not much.

What's up?

Oh, I just, I went up to Free Blast and I was, like, nah, I'm not gonna' do it. But...

Good for you.

Yeah, well, it's just a little weird, you know?

Yup. Yeah. -No.

Right, I mean there's just too many random, random folks about and stuff, whatever.

Uh-hmm, yeah.

But, like, basically I did the first half of the first slab.


And then, uh, and then I just was like, "Oh, I don't know."

And my feet.

Right, you made the perfect decision.

I don't know though, I'm just like.


But now it all has to drag on longer, I'm like.

You, yeah, I mean, you never have to go for it.

You can just.

Well, I just need it to end, you know.

Yeah, yeah, all the...

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

The circus surrounding you.

I just can't imagine, I wonder if he got nervous.

Is that possible?

Oh, man.

There's a lot of things that I don't totally understand about him.

You know?

Yeah, I know.

I mean in some ways it'd be kind of reassuring that Spock has nerves.

It was the first time I've ever gone up on something like real and then not done it.

But it's also the first time I've ever gone up on something real with people all watching.

By myself, I maybe would have just, like, persevered, I don't know, maybe I just suck, but, you know, at least I've like, at least I've tried.

Thanks for meeting us again.

It's funny, it always has a certain smell in here, and I wonder if it's the paint or the.

Yeah, it's the fresh paint.

Dining room with probably also bookshelves.

Wait, so what am, what am I signing?

"Buyers of unit approves the home inspection."

Yeah, Alex told me I get one furniture question a day.

I've always thought that I ought to buy a house, just haven't quite had the energy to make it all happen myself.

I think Sanni will be stoked to have a place to live and there's so much climbing all around Vegas.

Big sectional here and chair or like sofa and two chairs.

Potential, like, bar area.

I would just sleep straight on the carpet.

It'd be like.

Alex was a huge jerk watching me struggle with the tape measure, being an asshole standing by commenting on how stupid I look, but not actually offering to help or be productive or kind in any way.

And so now it's all gone to shit.

Yeah, you're asking about our domestic bliss, it's nonexistent.

You're so angry, but it's cracking, it's cracking.

It's not cracking.

Yeah, it is, it's cracking.

No, it's not, I'm still angry.

I can tell you're cracking.

I'm not cracking.

But you're not that angry, you're cracking.

I'm not cracking.

This is firm resolve of hatred.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Oh, boy.

That one seems very big and very wide.


Whoa, that seems really deep.

We should just ask somebody.

Hmm, I know.

Let's keep looking for the smaller ones.

Oh, this is the $400, that's.

That's it!

That's it, that's our jam.

This is actually, like, kind of perfect.

This is like so adequate.

We have a fridge!

Hmm. Yay! -That success.

Is it possible?

We had like a sort of a rough patch since Yosemite, where, I don't know, Alex isn't super good about putting a name to how he's feeling.

So, he'll be like, "I know I'm cranky, but I don't really know why and I'm not gonna take the time to figure it out."

I'm patient, but I also have self-respect.

And then, you know, the second that I start being mad, he's just like "foom."

How do you make coffee?

You need like a filter.

Definitely my relationship with Sanni is, like, the most healthy and stable relationship I've ever had.

Oh, look at that, the only thing in the cupboard.

Certainly more communicative.

Even Sanni over the year and a half we've been dating is like, "Wow, you've really blossomed."

Well, that's not really promising.

And you think you put the coffee in there and then you push the water through it?

I don't how to, um.

Hello, oh, my gosh, wow!

Oh, like, how's, why?

Is this what it is to be, um, a homeowner?

You get breakfast and coffee made for you every day?

I don't, I don't understand the, do you put the coffee in here and then put the water to it?

It's really complicated.

But she sees things in a different way.

For Sanni the point of life is like happiness.

To be with people that make you feel fulfilled and to have a good time.

For me it's all about performance.

The thing is anybody can be happy and cozy.

Nothing good happens in the world by being happy and cozy.

You know, like nobody achieves anything great because they're happy and cozy.

You never wanna feel like you're getting in the way of someone's goal.

And it's really hard for me to grasp why he wants this.

But it's his dream and he obviously still really wants it.

It's about being a warrior.

It doesn't matter about the cause necessarily.

This is your path and you will pursue it with excellence.

You face your fear because your goal demands it.

That is the goddamn warrior spirit.

I think that the free soloing mentality is pretty close to warrior culture, where you give something 100% focus because your life depends on it.

The move I gave up on in the fall was a right foot on this little edge right here, and I basically just have to like stand on the right foot and just trust it.

And I was like, "I don't really wanna have my whole life depend on like standing on this one right foot."

But maybe I can find another way.

I think this is like kind of the business of the whole deal, which is interesting because if you're climbing with a rope it's not at all, but without a rope it is.

That's my variation, I just don't know.

I think that he's only comfortable climbing in front of the camera or in front of any other people when he's really confident and secure.

And that's been the dilemma that this whole production has faced, right?

Yeah. From the beginning.

Our being there is always going to change things.

What made the big difference for me is that he did turn around last year.

He didn't feel the pressure to have to do it because we were there.

And I really, like that to me said a lot.

It meant a lot.

Is that what you'd want, us not to film it?

Hmm, no.

I mean, hard to say it but I care about doing it a lot more than I care about it being filmed.

You know?

You could put your foot down at any time, and, and, you know.

Yeah, I mean, I'm aware of it.

Like, if I want to, I just won't tell anybody and I'm just gonna do it on my own terms.

Yeah, exactly.

Like whatever, like I mean that's obviously on the table.

But obviously that would hose everybody, you know?


If you woke up tomorrow and you were like, "You know what, screw all of this, I just don't care enough, like I don't feel good enough."

You know, but that's like, yeah, I mean, of course I, I mean, I know I could do that and just walk away.

But it's like, you know, I mean, you know, I don't want to.

Having all these people around requires a higher level of preparation, a higher level of confidence basically.

I need to like dial it in so much that, you know, it doesn't matter if there's like a stadium of people watching me because it's so easy for me that I'm just like, "Check this out." And just do it.

Pitch one, stay left towards the top, splitter, it feels more secure.

Pitch two, trust the right foot, rock on, trust the feet, right hand to the last under cling.

Eight, easy romp. Go fast.

Nine, stay outside of the down climb, careful of blocks.

Pitch 26, sort of lie back and up the corner, key left-hand pinch thing, right foot back step on the lower edge, left foot faced against the wall, stand up.

Left hand to the huge ear jug thing, switch the feet, match the big jug, left foot jams into the crack, then you see right-hand down pulling on the top part of the jug, left hand goes into this flared slot thing, which you can either fist jam or hand jam, either way, it's like a flare jam in the slot.

Sag down onto it, right hand crosses under to an under cling, side pull.

Right foot sinks low to a flat edge, left foot steps through to an edge, right foot back steps really high so you can sag your weight around the corner without having to swing.

Left foot out to the big horn, right hand through to a little finger pocket, you go left foot out to an edge around the corner, you can actually push all the way into the corner, then you can grab this down pulling right hand, flat, like a small crimp.

Left hand to the other under cling, switch your feet on the rail and then just reach through the jugs, and then it's done.

The key thing for the crux, pull hard, trust feet, "trust" underline, double exclamation point, period.

Autopilot. Period.

I mean, you know, it's not surprising that Ueli died.

Considering he's always doing crazy dangerous things, but I kind of thought he was gonna survive.

Ueli talked about doing sketchy climbs that you just kind of squeak out once.

You know I've always tried not to.

But when I was talking to him about, about Free Rider, I was like, "Oh maybe Free Rider is one of those routes that I just need to go squeak out once and just like make sure it's my day."

You know, obviously it wasn't his day.

After Ueli died, it's interesting with Alex, how he justifies all that stuff away so quickly.

He was just kind of like shrugged it off, he's like

"Oh, yeah, yeah, it could happen."

I talked to Alex for a really long time about all of this.

And I was like, "What if you die?

Like what if you die just like Ueli died?"

Ueli and his wife, Nicole, had a really beautiful relationship and they would climb together.

Alex said at one point, "Well, what did she expect?"

And I got, I was like, "What do you mean what did she expect?"

I was like, "I'm Nicole, Alex! And I don't expect that."

Tons of more people have died and Alex is kind of the most likely to die, but I know he's gonna do it.

So I'd like to be there to help him prepare as well as he can.

Oh, shit.

If he went to solo it and fell and died, and I hadn't helped him prepare that would be harder for me.

Like, I just know that I'm, I'm one of the people that's gonna be able to do that the best with him and so, I should.

He said he's feeling tinges of, of like game time.

I think there's a chance he goes tomorrow.

They are remote cameras, because we wanna stay out of Alex's line of sight when he's doing it.

Okay, everybody knows what to do if something goes wrong.

Josh, just to confirm who should Mikey call?

The easiest thing would just be 911.

And that we will get kicked into gear and tell them what you know.

A climber.


All right, no mistakes tomorrow.

I'm worried that tomorrow is gonna be it, like, you know, like Alex's existence will be over.

I was like, "Oh, I have to be prepared for that outcome and I have to realize that that is a real possibility."

Oh, God.

Remember when you said you were gonna stand up for my goodbye?

Oh, is it time? -Yeah. Oh.

But you don't have to stand up, but you have to sit up.

Oh, you could've just left me.

No, no, I'm never gonna go.

Okay, drive safe.

Ciao, see you later!

I mean, I didn't ask her to leave.

I mean, I would never ask her to leave.

But, you know, I think she kind of understands that, that it's probably easier for me if she's gone.

I don't, I, the whole like saying goodbye thing I'm like

"I'll probably see her in like five days or something."

It's not like goodbye, it's just goodbye for a few days.

You know, I mean there's just that like weird thought of like, don't freaking let that be our last hug or whatever.

You know, like I shouldn't be having that thought...

of like "What if something happens?

Like what if I don't see him again?"

You know, like, "Why do you wanna do this?

Like it's a totally crazy goal."

Hey, Jimmy, do you copy?

This is Jimmy.

He just started climbing.

It is so slippery right there.

This is where he bailed.

Mikey, do you copy? This is Jimmy.

Hey, Jimmy, this is Mikey.

Can you let me know when he's through the slab pitch?

He's through the slab pitch.

He's through it?

Yup, he's almost at half dollar.

He's moving fast.

Yes, Jimmy, he is of course ahead of schedule.

So how far is he from Mammoth?

Doing the half dollar right now.

6:21 he's down climbing to Heart Ledge there's a party, in a Porter Ledge still.

They're awake and there's, they're aware.

They're like "Here comes Honnold." Oh, my God.

A Dude in a bunny suit.

The person is getting up now.

Uh yeah, no there's a tail.

This person has a tail and it's either a chicken head or a bunny.

Oh, it's a unicorn.

Come on. Who does that?

I've never seen that on El Cap.

Wow, and Alex is gone.

Okay, so he's entering the Hollow Flake at 6:49.

He just did the Hollow Flake down climb and is in the Hollow Flake now.

And then the thing about Free Rider is that from the base of Hollow Flake it's one crack system all the way to the top which is like what, 2,000 feet?

That's the most magnificent crack on planet earth.

Doug, this is Jimmy.

Do you know if they've radioed if he's gotten to the Monster yet?

Yeah, he's there now.

He's almost through it.

There, he's coming up now actually.

Now we see him like at the same height as the spire.

But you guys are all in position ready to go?

Yeah, Sam and I are at the bottom of the head wall.

My guess is he's 15 minutes from the Boulder Problem or so.

He just did the karate kick.

He's got it.

Oh, yeah.

That is way too gnarly.

Oh, my God. He did it. Jesus.

He just sent the boulder problem.

He must be so stoked.

I mean to have the slabs and the boulder problem behind him is monumental.

Here's the Enduro huh? Yup, this is the Enduro.

I can't believe you guys are actually gonna watch.

Oh, I don't wanna, I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't, no, no.

Oh, my God.

Yeah, that's kind of exposed right there.

Oh, my God, it's so exposed.

That arĂȘte move as he stepped around has gotta be, I mean that's one of the most exposed moves like anywhere on El Cap.

If you just step out, it all drops away.

Yeah, buddy.

Alex is having the best day of his life.

I don't know. Not me.

I'm done, yeah, no, this is it, I don't, we don't need to do this again.

Yeah, no.

It's over now.

Oh, God, it's done, woo-hoo!

Oh, God.

Oh, God, wow.

Oh, my God, I can't believe what I just witnessed.

Oh, God.

Good to see you again, yay.


So delighted.

That felt so good, it's freaking raged.

Like a gigantic weight off of my shoulders too.

I have to admit, I mean.

So delighted, what a journey.

Yeah, I just can't even believe after eight years of dreaming,

oh San-san's calling me.


Yeah, so delighted.

Oh my, you're so delighted, that's putting it lightly.

I've like never smiled so much. Don't say anything too.

I wanna see it. What's that?

Like, I told you I wanted to see that smile.

Yeah, I know.

I've like never cried so hard and I didn't even see it coming.

Showing that you talk now, I was just like "Blah."

Yeah, no, I'm, I'm sort of at, at risk of crying here too, I'm like, I feel quite emotional.

Yeah, no, don't cry San-san it will make me cry.

But Claire says cry it.

I think the movie would be better if I burst into tears, but I, I don't really want to.

But, well I do want to kind of, but.

I'm so happy.

Oh, God.

I'm so happy.


I'm so happy.

Well, okay.

I'll see you, I'll see you in like six hours or something.

And I'll see you soon, yeah.

Yeah, okay, I love you.

Thank you so much, I appreciate you.

I love you too.

You're, you're the best.

And I appreciate you and I'm really proud of you.


I don't know.

I don't, I don't think the mountain looked that scary this morning.

It's funny because it does look the same and hiking up looked the same, everything just felt pretty much the same, except I just didn't have much of a backpack.

I did, I forgot my rope and rack.

I felt so good.

I mean that's why I'm so happy that the experience was like what I hoped for.

I didn't compromise on any of the things that were super important to me.

Huh, yeah, that felt good.

All right.

So what's next, what are you gonna do Alex?

Mmm, I'm probably gonna hang board.

You're gonna hang board?

A normal person would probably take the afternoon off.

Thanks again for coming out and climbing with me.

I'm really proud of you.

Good work not plummeting to your death.

Really glad it's over.

Oh, my gosh, you're here, oh, my God!

Oh, my gosh, I'm so happy for you, you did it and you're done.

You know some of the people that have come before you, they, they didn't quit while they were ahead.

Maybe it's good.

Maybe I don't need to keep charging ahead.

Right now there's some kid that just read about El Cap being soloed and he's like.

"What's bigger?"

Like "What's cooler?"

And I mean somebody's gonna think of something and it's gonna be cooler.

But I don't know if that will be me. Maybe, I don't know.