One of the Oscar statuettes awarded to the Free Solo team at the recent 91st Academy Awards is to be temporarily placed at a key position on the crux pitch of Freerider, the Boulder Problem pitch (5.13a) to commemorate Alex Honnold's historic free solo ascent in June 2017.
The trophy will be positioned on the route for two weeks (7th-21st April), with a competition for the best selfie pose with the statuette running on Instagram, using the hashtag #GoldenOpportunity. The winner will receive a day's climbing with Honnold, organised by National Geographic, one of the film's production and distribution companies.
Yosemite National Park service commented: 'We are pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit the trophy on the crux pitch of Freerider. The statuette will be securely placed on a ledge just after the now world-famous boulder problem. We hope that climbers will be inspired to pull harder on the crux and take part in the competition, although we'd prefer it if they used a rope, obviously!'
Alex Honnold told UKC: 'I'm OK with it, I mean, I don't have proper shelves in my van anyway, so I guess putting it on a mantelshelf on El Cap is as good as anywhere. If nothing else it'll make a convenient belay stake I suppose. I don't know what kN rating it'll be, but we're at 99% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.'
'If you kiss the statuette, increased boldness and sending power will be bestowed upon you,' Jimmy Chin added.
Meanwhile, in the UK, rumour has it that plans are in place to position the team's BAFTA trophy on Flying Buttress Direct, to commemorate Alex's death-defying solo of the Stanage classic a few years ago. Hashtag suggestions have reportedly included #BetterAtFreesoloingThanAlex and #BoldAsF*ckThatAlex.