‘Free Solo’ Star Alex Honnold Explained How Bathrooms Work on Multi-Day Climbs

Alex Honnold is still the king of free solo rock climbing. In the documentary, Free Solo, he showed his journey to become the first person to free solo climb El Capitan. With the documentary out there, Honnold wants us to learn more about free solo climbing.

Free Solo’ is a thrilling rock-climbing documentary

Alex Honnold smiling
Alex Honnold | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

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According to Collider, Free Solo, which debuted in 2018, depicts the life of Alex Honnold, an award-winning climber. Elizabeth Chai and Jimmy Chin follow the solo climber as he attempts the groundbreaking feat in the film. Like sports documentaries, Free Solo beams more on the successes than the artist.

Soon after its debut, Free Solo got the attention of the Academy, and the documentary won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2019. Free Solo dives into how Honnold became a rock climber star. It shows a young man with a life committed to intensive studies and practice. Honnold doesn’t have a home. He lives in a trailer where he learns about climbing through magazines and books.

Honnold records his sessions and minute achievements in his journal. As a lover of the mountain sport, Honnold subjects his body to several training sessions. He devotes most of his time to personal improvements and tries to defy common limitations.

The documentary, Free Solo, points to the result of hard work and success. His time of self-denial paid. Honnold became the first climber to subdue the El Capitan height. Honnold’s face beams with smiles in the last clip after completing his goal, climbing El Capitan free solo. A bigger lesson is that success brings happiness, as can be seen on Honnold’s face.

Multi-day climbs have fans curious: how do bathrooms work?

Following the documentary and awards, fans became interested in Honnold’s life. Honnold grants several interviews to news houses and individuals as an internet sensation.

In a Wired interview, Honnold responds to Twitter questions from climbing enthusiasts. A fan wants to know how a climber handles the restroom calls when climbing. Honnold says the bathroom experience nowadays is different compared to six decades ago. “Way back in the day, people would just go to the bathroom into a brown paper bag and just throw it off the wall … that is incredibly frowned upon now,” Honnold explained.

A better and acceptable restroom option is to take your waste with you. Honnold explains that on multi-day wall climbs, he will use his used water jugs to carry out his waste,

“You poop into a bag, you bundle up the bag and you can Duck tape it up so it’s a little sealed bundle and you can leave it in your used water jugs and seal that up with tape.”

Honnold then goes on to explain that after the jugs have been sealed, you essentially have the jugs danging below your haul bags. Once climbers get down, they can take their waste and dispose of it in the proper manner. Honnold says this is part of the understanding climbers carry everything out and leave the area as they found it.

A look into Honnold’s Life after El Cap

According to ESPN, Honnold wants to enhance his sporting speed and improve grip strength. To become a versatile climber, he now makes way for a team rather than solo climbs. “Improvement makes me feel good,” he says. “It’s exciting to aim at something new, even though it’s not, you know, impressive.”

Honnold told HBR that his life is more balanced when climbing with friends without a clear goal in sight. He says, “I have a casual lifestyle mode: I stay up late watching TV and eating dessert.”

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