Climber Alex Honnold, renowned for his seemingly effortless but dangerous exploits in free soloing, climbed a route called Heaven at Glacier Point in Yosemite and made it look like a walk in the park. Then he did it again.
No ropes, no safety gear, no fear—as usual—just the tips of his fingers and toes scaling a 3,000-foot vertical wall with a 40-foot overhang.
His latest climb was for Squarespace, a website design site used by Honnold. The first time he free-soloed the route was in 2011, five years after Dean Potter was the first to do so and the same year he rose to fame on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
“Alex is a true professional,” director Jimmy Chin wrote on his blog about the making of the video. “It’s not every day that someone solos 5.12d, to be able to do it on demand is beyond my comprehension. Not only did he float the route once, he topped out, turned to me and said, ‘give me 20 minutes and I’m going to do it again,’ and then did the route a second time.
“Anyone who knows Alex knows that it takes a lot to get any sort of rise out of him. That’s one of the reasons he can do what he does. I knew we got something special when he finally got a chance to review the footage with the team and seemed genuinely pleased.”
And this is what they got:
Chin used two filming teams, one using a crane above the route to shoot Honnold climbing out across the severe overhang. Using helicopters or drones are prohibited in Yosemite, hence the use of a crane.
“I knew positioning, anchoring, and operating a crane on steep, exposed terrain was going to be a bit of a nightmare, but I also knew the effort would really bring some additional motion to the sequence and much higher production value,” Chin said.
One would think Squarespace got its money’s worth.
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