The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb : The Indicator from Planet Money In 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold ascended Yosemite's rock formation El Capitan free solo, meaning without ropes or equipment. On today's show, we look at the economic lessons revealed by Honnold's extraordinary feat.
NPR logo

The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/811280651/811295498" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb

The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb

The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/811280651/811295498" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The El Capitan monolith in Yosemite National Park. Climber Alex Honnold scaled the rock formation in under four hours with nearly no equipment, as seen in the 2018 documentary Free Solo. MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

The El Capitan monolith in Yosemite National Park. Climber Alex Honnold scaled the rock formation in under four hours with nearly no equipment, as seen in the 2018 documentary Free Solo.

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

In 2017, American rock climber Alex Honnold ascended Yosemite National Park's vertical rock formation, El Capitan, in under four hours. Honnold's extraordinary journey to the top was captured in the documentary Free Solo, named after the method of climbing without ropes or equipment which Honnold used.

While audiences largely reacted to the movie with nail-biting, dizzying fascination, economist John Cochrane thought to himself, "Why wasn't this done 150 years ago?" On today's show, the three economic lessons that prompted his question, and the surprising links between rock climbing and economics.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.