Last summer rock climber Alex Honnold became the first person to ever climb the iconic nearly 3,000-foot granite wall known as El Capitan without using ropes or other safety gear, completing what may be the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport.
He climbed the peak in 3 hours, 56 minutes, taking the final average pitch at a near run. For more than a year, Honnold has been training for the climb at places in the United States, China, Europe, and Morocco. A small circle of friends and fellow climbers who knew about the project had been sworn to secrecy.
A team of filmmakers, led by Jimmy Chin, one of Honnold’s longtime climbing partners, and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, captured the ascent for a National Geographic Documentary Films feature, Free Solo, which has just released in select theatres after doing the festival circuit.
The jaw-dropping 360 video above gives you a small sense of what it might be like to climb such an imposing face.