News, know-how, and opinion for the adventure conscious reader.

Before Free Solo, There Was 'Solo'

The adventure community was electrified to learn of Alex Honnald’s 2017 history altering free solo of El Capitan. When it was nominated and eventually won an Academy award last year, the broader world became captivated by the achievement, Honnald’s personality and the stunning filmmaking that portrayed climbing to popular culture like never before.

But in 1973, another adventure film was making the rounds within the Academy, one about a man alone on the emblematic granite monolith that has made Honnald an untouchable legend and household celebrity.

Released in 1972 by climber and filmmaker Mike Hoover, the film depicts an amalgamation of solo climbs, from the Nose on El Cap to the Tetons and other areas in Canada and Mexico. It’s a beautiful depiction of a somewhat difficult to understand style, roped solo aid climbing, and a reminder of the progression that has led to accomplishments like Honnald’s.

Today, Hoover is 75 and is last reported to reside in Los Angeles, California. Pyramid Media is still operating in Santa Monica, CA.

Enjoy, and if you know any details about the shooting locations, please let us know in the comments!