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From Free Solo, Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s 2018 documentary of Honnold’s attempt to become the first climber to free-solo El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. “Three years of walking a tightrope with Alex, filming and photographing his life on and off the wall, culminated on the dawn of June 3, 2017, when Alex squeezed into his climbing shoes, chalked up his hands and began spidering up [El Capitan.] I planned to capture him at the climb’s final crux—the Enduro Corner, an enormous open book of polished granite with a narrow and punishingly steep crack that had spat out many an expert climber. I had bolted a photo camera on top of my cinema camera so that I could shoot stills and film at the same time. I thought of the directive I had given my team: ‘No mistakes. Focus on your job.’ And there came Alex, steadily climbing hand over hand up [the Enduro Corner]. I was riveted to each of his moves through my viewfinder. I knew I was witnessing the sublime. Then I focused on my job.”

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