Click here to listen to the interview.
Even knowing that he would be joining us for a Q&A after the screening of FREE SOLO, I had trouble watching Alex Honnold clinging to El Capitan by his fingers and toes in order to fulfill his goal of scaling that sheer face without a rope. The doc by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi does more than deliver stunning footage of Honnold’s ascent, it delves into what makes the world’s premiere free-solo climber tick.
When I spoke with Honnold on October 11, 2018, I started with one question that the doc didn’t answer, or even address. What happens when you are clinging to a rock face by the tips of your fingers and toes, and you have to sneeze?
We went on to talk about the difference between climbing a rock face and climbing a building; why he won’t be doing any wing-suiting; and how to prepare for an arctic climb.
We finished up discussing why The Honnold Foundation (HonnoldFoundation.org) focuses on bringing solar energy to the poorest parts of the world (not teaching kids to climb); his estimate of endorphin production in his brain after his climb; and what it will be like when he can’t trust his body to climb anymore.