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    • I always viewed Alex as this calm, zen-master of climbing. He's so smooth and calculated. In my mind he is still all those things. But the documentary altered my perception because I started seeing parallels with those who've perished pushing the edge, like Dean Potter. The concept of perfecting a tough route enough to climb it confidently without pro excites him. Why isn't flashing Free Rider with adequate protection enough? He's taking something so safe and making it dangerous to make a point that he can climb it flawlessly. This is the discipline of mastering playing with fire. The same discipline of wing suiters and snake wranglers. The idea that they can avoid death on something so unimaginably difficult due to their abilities excites them enough to do it. Isn't that what an adrenaline junkie is?

    • While it's an impressive physical accomplishment to solo these type of climbs, it's not some kind of miracle. Not having to mess with pro or wait for a partner certainly speeds things up and reduces the physical cost or expenditure of the climb. I won't likely watch the show because it promotes these people taking undue risks beyond what they might do just for themselves. If they want to do it alone just because then I'm okay with it

      100% agree. I feel it's reckless. More and more experienced climbers are getting hurt or killed running out easy terrain every year according to the Accidents in North American Climbing. I can't help but wonder if Alex Honnold being the poster child of the climbing is perpetuating the poor choices being made that lead to these accidents.

    • I wonder how this would have all played out if he had died in the attempt. Or how this will play out if a few more people die in similar attempts if they are filming it or have a large number of supporters in the endeavor. There seem to be an awful lot of companies like Red Bull who are raking in the money of promoting extreme sports. These sports are causing a large number of injuries that's for sure. Not to say humans haven't pushed themselves to crazy levels before but it seems like it's the new gladiator sport and we are pacifying the populace by treating them to the events. At whose expense?? I say this as someone who like I said before has spent his life doing risky things and I've injured myself plenty while doing it. Nor have I stopped doing many of those dangerous things.

    • I wonder how this would have all played out if he had died in the attempt.

      Years ago I noticed a set of base-jumping photos in the basement of a friend's house. He said he left them up to remember the previous tenant, Jan Davis, who died base jumping in Yosemite. She was extremely experienced, beloved by the base jumping community, and the last of 5 to go off El Cap during a demo to plead for making base jumping legal in national parks. Photographers and news crews were there along with a large group of spectators.

      That pretty much sealed it for the national parks. Base jumping has stayed illegal.

    • Huh, that was really interesting. They're SO different from each other. Jimmy still has some of the climber-dirtbag vibe, even though he's not really anymore, whereas Elizabeth Chai has a sort of high-society feel (I don't mean either of those terms as insults). It's sort of surprising to me that they ended up together, but it seems to work really well for them.

      Also, I've seen clips of Alex on the wall about 100 times now, and it still gives me chills.

    • As a competitive cyclist I cringe every time the commentators explain things that are obvious to me. And I lament the wasted background time that could be spent on better coverage. But if all the coverage was for people who have pinned a number on 1000 times, the audience would be trivially small. I suspect a climbing movie made for folks who can climb a 5.12 or better would be similarly popular, yet Free Solo just won an Oscar 😜

    • Spot on.

      I'm psyched a climbing movie got the Oscar this year! To me the climber, I immediately asked myself why did Free Solo get the Oscar and not Dawn Wall? I liked Dawn Wall better, but Free Solo was a better documentary. Sure, the climbing explanations were dumbed down to the masses, and incredibly difficult to sit through, but they followed the Honnold's and constructed a story around a concrete event. A very very good story.