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Watch Mark Hudon, 63, Climb Freerider 99.7% Free

The film premiered this summer and was released online today by Arc'teryx

When Jordan Cannon, a young climber infatuated with climbing history, meets climbing legend Mark Hudon, a Yosemite big wall free-climbing pioneer, they form an unlikely partnership around a common goal.

While Cannon wants to complete an all-free ascent Freerider on El Capitan in a day, Hudon hopes to free the route in as many days as it takes, becoming the oldest guy to free climb El Cap.

Samuel Crossley’s year-long film project, Free As Can Be, premieresd at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy this summer. The movie tells the unlikely partnership between Americans Hudon, 64, and Cannon, 26. In it, Hudon aims to make the oldest free ascent of El Cap’s Free Rider — taking as long as it takes — while Cannon seeks to do the route in a day. 

“I made the film about the things I value in climbing,” Crossley says. “Partnerships are where it’s at. The movie is about sharing a common goal and working on each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Free as Can Be

Samuel Crossley

If you’ve perused climbing media in the past five years — specifically in Yosemite — chances are you’ve seen Samuel Crossley’s work. He was Jimmy Chin’s photo assistant on Free Solo, did post-production work on Dawn Wall, and he helped film the Nose Speed Record in Reel Rock 14.

Raised in Moraga, California, Crossley studied cinema at San Francisco State University, and in 2014 he moved to Boulder, Colorado, to work on his first film for Cedar Wright, Sufferfest: 700 Miles of Pain and Glory. This film tells the story of Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright as they bike through the desert southwest to climb towers. In 2015 Crossley interned with Sender Films; around that same period, he began work on Free Solo. 

To learn more about Crossley, stay tuned for a feature on him in Gripped. 

Read about Jordan Cannon climbing El Cap in a day free here.