What if He Falls? The Terrifying Reality Behind Filming “Free Solo” | Op-Docs

  • Published on Nov 2, 2018
  • In 2017, when Alex Honnold made his stunning free-solo ascent of Yosemite’s El Capitan, he was taking an unimaginable risk: nearly three thousand feet of climbing without any ropes or safety equipment. But was the climb made even riskier by the filmmakers who accompanied him?
    In “What if He Falls?” filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin take us inside the process of documenting Honnold’s quest for climbing glory - and the ethical calculus of filming a friend who could, with the slip of a finger, plummet to his death.
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Comments • 10 029

  • KiannaOshun
    KiannaOshun Hour ago

    That was so hot to me .

  • kaylashalaylaaaaa
    kaylashalaylaaaaa 3 hours ago

    it truly takes a psychopath to do this (an inactive, small amygdala)

  • Adam M
    Adam M 8 hours ago

    I was doing a free solo, until she told me to get off

  • Vihemba Jeremia
    Vihemba Jeremia 10 hours ago

    no black person in their right mind attempt that

  • Reza Zheyn
    Reza Zheyn 10 hours ago

    I challenge Donald Trump to do This Free Solo.

  • Saar Dean
    Saar Dean 11 hours ago

    at the end i thought ""what has apple to do with it?" imagine how much El capitan stressed me

  • Romain sls
    Romain sls 11 hours ago +1

    wait what ?!!

  • djhowa
    djhowa 15 hours ago +1

    3:14 sv_gravity 0

  • Will Duggan
    Will Duggan 16 hours ago

    I can just about free solo into bed nowadays.

  • Aritra Chatterjee
    Aritra Chatterjee 18 hours ago

    He is not only true monk, he is enlighten. He has understood the REALITY OF FEAR...AN ILLUSION..

  • Harold Callahan
    Harold Callahan 18 hours ago

    Just watching this from my couch turns my stomach

  • Tyo Channel
    Tyo Channel Day ago

    Nope... I'm out...

  • Amun
    Amun Day ago


  • Nerdo
    Nerdo Day ago

    Not if I do it nex--- ahhh

  • Night Rider
    Night Rider Day ago

    *This guy would make a great assassin...*

  • Antonio Hudge
    Antonio Hudge Day ago

    My nuts are sweaty

  • Z M
    Z M Day ago

    No one:
    Literally no one:
    Alex: I wanna free climb Mount Everest next.

    • Nickoli Lion
      Nickoli Lion 18 hours ago

      Everest is the tallest, but is not considered to be the most difficult climb.

  • Oliver The Great
    Oliver The Great Day ago +1

    I don't understand why anyone would do this. One mistake and it's over. I mean it's one thing to do it with safety but without safety is just... scary.

  • vaibhav jain
    vaibhav jain Day ago +1

    People just dont value life

    • Nickoli Lion
      Nickoli Lion 18 hours ago

      Don’t be so afraid of death that you forget to live.

  • Edwin Eduardo Zumba

    demonios!!!! este sujeto sí que me pone los pelos de punta, admiro lo que hace, te deseo mucha suerte, es lo más apegado a lo perfecto, no hay opción a errores. Saludos desde Ecuador.

  • tm06ufo
    tm06ufo Day ago

    my balls are shrinking,,,,

  • Deleted User
    Deleted User Day ago

    I wish someone would care for me as much as the film crew cares for Alex's safety.

  • XSenteniel
    XSenteniel Day ago

    omg stop standing soo close to the edge!! ;-;

  • Minkyy
    Minkyy 2 days ago

    5:54 these boys ain’t slick. That’s the floor and they’re just crawling/ laying down. No way they can climb that flat wall like that

  • Matt D
    Matt D 2 days ago

    I'd be petrified with fear.

  • Ryan M
    Ryan M 2 days ago +1

    E. Chai, hah. People who only use their first initial sound so pretentious.

  • Sascha Bach
    Sascha Bach 2 days ago

    Stupidest sport.

  • Jether john Castillo

    Cameramen feel like youre watching a premeditated murder that you have the option to stop it but you cant. Youre just praying that the murderer will just change his mind and let the victim live in peace.

  • Jether john Castillo

    I free solo our stairs everyday.

  • COV 90s
    COV 90s 2 days ago

    they are special people!!

  • synclair gaines
    synclair gaines 2 days ago

    Can you imagine this man in a zombie apocalypse?

  • Lekhraj singh Kural
    Lekhraj singh Kural 2 days ago

    Vaheguru vaheguru vaheguru ji🙏

  • Alexis Tosta
    Alexis Tosta 2 days ago

    Cant understand why someone actually does this and enjoys doing it. How does he gets down intreagues me a lot

    ISAAC WANG 2 days ago

    Simply awesome.

  • Michael Hogan
    Michael Hogan 2 days ago

    Where will you be when diarrhea strikes?

  • Jalah Semaj
    Jalah Semaj 2 days ago

    He’s bold bold cause I’m not even finna climb that big O mountain not even with a ROPE 😂

  • UrinatingTheCrowd
    UrinatingTheCrowd 2 days ago

    i found this movie because i accidentally downloaded it thinking it was han solo movie. no regret

  • jj combi
    jj combi 2 days ago

    He must be a master masturbater or else this is lie.

  • Tommy Knockers
    Tommy Knockers 3 days ago

    Alex has always been a freak of nature. How he can even climb stairs with balls that big?

  • gym addicted
    gym addicted 3 days ago

    If he was a serial killer no force in the world would get him .. Proud on u bro :-)

  • Russ Rod
    Russ Rod 3 days ago

    After watching the Free Solo, I thought i can do it. So i went out a climb the tree in our backyard, i heard one of the branch crack, i came back down order some pizza and watch Han Solo movie instead.

  • Scott Allam
    Scott Allam 3 days ago

    Everyone wants to make this a case of a man with an extreme ability to conquer fear. I don't think its that at all. We are merely projecting our own fears of certain death because if any of us tried what he did, we would certainly fall and die. What I think makes Alex tick is extreme confidence that only comes from rigid discipline and continued practice. He also is fantastic at compartmentalizing real danger from perceived danger. He practices a particular route and moves extensively with safety ropes until he knows the moves front and back. Once he knows he can do the move, it no longer is a real danger, but merely a perceived danger that comes from inability. I also think his confidence even grows when he is in free solo, because he can move more strongly with better precision without the encumbrance of ropes and harness. Its like when a Baseball batter swings a heavy bat for practice swings.

  • Derek Baker
    Derek Baker 3 days ago

    Jeez! Dude is crazy!

  • jetjr1981
    jetjr1981 3 days ago

    I climbed Mt Everest with nothing on except flip flops. I also did the exact climb as Alex but I didn’t use my hands🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Truthsabre7
    Truthsabre7 4 days ago

    If you have not seen this movie see it.

  • Raymond Foo
    Raymond Foo 4 days ago

    Worst death is when he reach the top and somebody kick him down.

  • Alex
    Alex 4 days ago

    Ok, now do the dawn wall

  • Lance Crawford
    Lance Crawford 4 days ago

    Should wear a parachute while climbing if no ropes

    • beebobox
      beebobox 4 days ago

      No, he explained why that doesnt help

  • Wyatt Outdoors
    Wyatt Outdoors 4 days ago

    i think if you are here and the are not a climber or not a free climber you do not understand the freedom you get and he is doing this because he is proud so stop saying that you were so nervous

  • nitin sharma
    nitin sharma 4 days ago

    a real spiderman

  • Onion boi
    Onion boi 4 days ago

    i could imagine this guy crushing my hand in a handshake

  • Skippa G
    Skippa G 4 days ago +3

    What if falls? Umm... he dead 🤷🏽‍♂️

  • D JM
    D JM 5 days ago

    Almost dropped my phone from the sweaty palms!! Unreal feat!!

  • Supaslikboi
    Supaslikboi 5 days ago

    Imagine if ants bite him

  • David Wongso
    David Wongso 5 days ago

    What is on the mind of 2.3K dislike people??? Because they just don't like climbing?

  • Flowerdoodle2
    Flowerdoodle2 5 days ago

    Why film it at all? Aside from it being fascinating? A film brings attention. Fame. Endorsements....Money.

  • Matt Nicassio
    Matt Nicassio 5 days ago

    1:13 this shot is so beautiful!

  • Bjmw Kids
    Bjmw Kids 5 days ago

    Just let me know where to find the video where dude falls to his death smh 🤦‍♂️

  • Tok Ang
    Tok Ang 5 days ago

    My hand water

  • # Guiltless
    # Guiltless 5 days ago +1

    Yeah it's the people filming who are the problem..Wtf 💀
    Idiots now days find anything to complain about.

  • Kyle Callahan
    Kyle Callahan 5 days ago +5

    So instead of making the film about Alex, they made it about themselves. What a plot twist!

  • ea art
    ea art 5 days ago

    Alex Honnold every time I see you i think really impossible is not Exist

  • Long Days Pleasant Nights

    The physical aspect of free climbing is amazing but I can understand how, the mental aspect is something I cannot fathom. I would be afraid of my fear.

  • Sam Ting wong
    Sam Ting wong 6 days ago

    Why the asian dude look like an older version markiplier

  • Beautiful Korea
    Beautiful Korea 6 days ago

    I was like "Jesus FKING CHRIST" while watching this. He's gotta stop doing this at some point. Get a brain surgery or call 1-800-bets-off. It's an addiction.

  • Ben Cross
    Ben Cross 6 days ago

    It is impressive what he does. But what is the sense behind. Risking his life for what exactly? Why does he not use a rope?? It is stressful enough to climb this rocks with a rope I think :o

  • shakir johnson
    shakir johnson 6 days ago

    Tbh this is cool or whatever but this guy is dumb asf for risking his life for no reason 🤔

  • chaitanya sashidharan

    Alex youre amazing!!

  • jvega419
    jvega419 6 days ago +28

    His hands, this guy could probably choke out a water buffalo.

  • Za Ha
    Za Ha 6 days ago

    My Palm Was Sweaty the Whole Video

  • Malik Khan
    Malik Khan 6 days ago

    Better than Peter Parker

  • Carl Brown
    Carl Brown 6 days ago

    He is very strong to lift his body and his balls of steel.

  • Marlou Camarillo
    Marlou Camarillo 6 days ago

    and it only took him almost 4 hours!

  • M Q
    M Q 6 days ago

    more than a human ............. completely out of box he is lots n lots of respects for the courage u have & on ur accomplishment...................

  • elana schneider
    elana schneider 6 days ago

    he was born to do that to climb ..

  • Mr257
    Mr257 6 days ago

    this is so scary, im having goosebumps every freaking time 0_0. this guy is gotta be the most insane person alive.

  • mgkpraesi
    mgkpraesi 6 days ago

    What about..NO?

  • acool6401
    acool6401 7 days ago +6

    I’m usually pretty cool and calm but my hands were sweating just by watching him climb.

    • Himself
      Himself Day ago

      acool6401 cause you’re moms spaghetti

  • Mimi O GO!
    Mimi O GO! 7 days ago

    Awww watching through film is already scary enough.... can't imagine being there.

  • Lex_Ka
    Lex_Ka 7 days ago

    Is it weird that watching this doesn't make me nervous at all ?

  • Harry Kuheim
    Harry Kuheim 7 days ago +1

    I'd love to see a Dozen Democrats fall 1500 feet and make Rock Pizza....Mmmm

  • Senior Rocker
    Senior Rocker 7 days ago

    I had to stop watching half way. It was just too nerve-wracking. This guy is superhuman.

  • Brendon Plummer
    Brendon Plummer 7 days ago

    I think if u want good cheese u have to buy it from a deli and u have to see it cut in front of u so u know its fresh

  • Ruthvik Nadiger
    Ruthvik Nadiger 7 days ago +10

    Newton : Am I a joke to you?

  • Nigga Testicles
    Nigga Testicles 7 days ago

    Dude must have some pretty strong hands, considering he has to carry the weight of his enormous balls

  • David Bloch
    David Bloch 7 days ago

    Your family members are the real heroes

  • Seb G
    Seb G 8 days ago

    This is what happens when you have to much testosterone

  • Crazed Donkey
    Crazed Donkey 8 days ago

    The director looks like he could be markipliers dad 4:48

  • DaManBearPig
    DaManBearPig 8 days ago

    Nearly short circuited my phone with palm sweat

  • Squinty Eye gaming
    Squinty Eye gaming 8 days ago

    Not surprising to me that Markipliers got good grip strength

  • xProTyga
    xProTyga 8 days ago +1

    I can't even climb to the top of the one at school never mind a mountain

  • King P
    King P 8 days ago

    And people think finding a way to the top of a building and taking a picture while dangling is nerve wrecking.. they got nothing on alex!

  • Michael Doherty
    Michael Doherty 8 days ago

    Ah , they are a breed apart. They do not fear the unknown...They embrace it.

  • Michael Cox
    Michael Cox 8 days ago +1

    5:18 the exact noise i made watching this loon

  • Sloppy Joe
    Sloppy Joe 8 days ago

    doesn't matter how good you are, this is just plain idiotic to do that

  • Laren Verunica
    Laren Verunica 8 days ago

    ayyy its markiplier

  • tipiandknife
    tipiandknife 8 days ago


  • rishab mehta
    rishab mehta 9 days ago +1

    Alex most definitely has balls of steel.

  • Piano Phantom
    Piano Phantom 9 days ago +1

    *Level 10, choose a new skill!*

    *Butt pucker level 1 equipped!*

  • carson brown
    carson brown 9 days ago

    How does he get down?