ESCAPE TO THE... MOUNTAINS
Yosemite National Park, United States
The Land Before Time vibes are strong with this one…
In each episode of our Escape To series, we’ll be picking a mother-nature sized theme and pairing it with a film, TV show, and destination. And for our first week?
We’re summiting 🏔
Make like a mountain goat and scramble across the world’s best climbing spots… or just watch the pros do it from the comfort of your sofa. No judgement.
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Watch the Pros...
“Everybody who’s made free soloing a big part of their life… is dead.”
Free soloing is the art of climbing tall things without ropes. Or protective equipment. In their Oscar-winning National Geographic doc, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin chart Alex Honnold’s attempt to free solo the granddaddy of climbing walls...
El Capitan (El Cap to it’s mates).
This 3,000 ft beast sits pretty in Yosemite National Park. Nobody had ever tried to climb it without ropes before. Because that would be mental…
El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
“Sometimes you find yourself in positions where falling would mean death. So you don’t fall.”
Alex Honnold. Master of the downplay.
El Cap is “the most impressive wall on earth... and the centre of the rock climbing universe”. It’s a badass hunk of granite which is vertical and has tricky foot and finger holds. To put that in perspective - that’s 2.5 Empire State Buildings and 3 Eiffel Towers...
And probs 1000x the Go Ape course you did last summer, champ.
Errrr… and your man’s going to climb that without a rope?
“It’s really hard for me to grasp why he wants this”- Sanni McCandless, Alex's girlfriend.
Especially because this National Park is cram jam full of gushing waterfalls, calf-shredding hikes, and fluffy sequoia groves. Which don’t want to kill you.
Do it For Reals...
IMPORTANT: When we say do it for reals, we mean the climbing part. Free soloing? No Karen, you’re only a mortal.
Keep things close to home with a hike up England’s highest mountain. Scafell Pike towers over the Lake District at 978 metres above sea level. That’s calf-shatteringly high. Loadsa people attempt this one BUT underestimate it. There are hard scrambling sections and pre weather checks are a must.
Or you can head to sunny Tenerife and abuse your quads at Mount Teide. It’s the highest mountain in Spain. Oh, and it’s a volcano. The world’s third tallest. No pressure. You’ll have to nab a permit before you climb, then take the No. 10 trail from La Rambleta. The route is signposted.
Want to see Alex Honnold’s life and death attempt to climb the 3,000ft El Capitan... without a rope? Thought so.
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