The King is nude
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The King is nude

‘Free Solo’, watch it to believe it!

Unbelievable feat of human endeavour, the incredible, indomitabe human spirit

Free Solo poster courtesy of National Geographic

I run out of breath climbing a few floors of the building of my flat (I used to do this as a regular exercise walking up all 19 floors to the terrace on top) and here’s a guy climbing a sheer vertical rock, 3000 ft with just his bare hands, chalk powder and absolutely no safety equipment, yes no ropes. The daredevil is Alex Honnold who has been climbing such precipitous rocks and cliffs for over 20 years now. Many couldn’t believe when he set record after record climbing such surfaces but the El Capitan (El Cap) was his biggest challenge and eventually after 4 years of preparation, he did it in a period of 3 hours and 56 minutes. It was hailed as “one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever”. In fact Alex’s climb is the only free solo on El Cap. Some parts are so scary that the cameramen couldn’t look into the lens and instead just let the camera do its work. Credit also goes to Jimmy Chin photographer and climber for filming the climb.

This was my pick for the best at the Oscars 2019 for Best Documentary and it did win. Watching it in 3D IMAX would have been a surreal experience. I had sweaty palms and feet just watching this off my desktop’s screen.

Honnold also holds several world records including one with Tommy Caldwell when on June 6, 2018 they broke the speed record for the climb on the Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite. They completed the approximately 3,000-foot route in 1:58:07, becoming the first climbers to complete the route in under two hours. Honnold also holds the record for the fastest ascent on another rock called the The Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome which he accomplished in 1 hour 22 seconds in 2012. This is a 2000 ft vertical ascent.

Honnold is a vegetarian, doesn’t take alcohol or take other drugs. His mother Dierdre Wolownick, is the oldest woman to climb El Capitan (with ropes of course). She was 66 when she accomplished that feat.

This documentary is Highly recommended. Go for it!



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Subash Sarath Lakshmi

Subash Sarath Lakshmi


Software Programmer turned Technical Writer, Writer, Blogger, Trainer, spiritual seeker tyring to better my life and the lives of others via my writings.