The US government shutdown - prompted by a "great negotiator" failing to negotiate - has so far seen a record 24 days where up to 800,000 government employees are not being paid. This has had a big knock-on effect on climbers, who have come out in droves to aid in the volunteer effort to keep the parks in running order.
In a heart warming move, National Geographic are offering federal employees in Georgetown, Washington the chance to get free tickets (and popcorn!) to upcoming showing of the hugely popular "Free Solo". The AMC Georgetown is playing at 1pm the 15th, 16th and 17th of Jan.
"Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the theater starting one hour before the screening. Federal employees with a valid government ID may each receive up to two tickets and vouchers for popcorn and soda. "
"Free Solo" chronicles the iconic free solo ascent of the El Capitan route in Yosemite National Park. The news of the ambitious and death defying climb rocked the climbing world when it happened. The film itself went and to win rave reviews from climbers and film-goers alike - winning multiple awards for Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi.
Almost anyone who has seen clips of this and Alex Honnold's other free solo achievements has asked the how's and why's of the reasoning behind these ascents. The film attempts to find answers to questions everyone has and the film-makers have pushed to get deeper into the psychology that drives Alex. Recent clips have also brought up the ways the film dealt with the task of filming and the moral questions it brought up.
You can see the film on imax by checking here to see availability. Be quick, as the film showings are wrapping up for the inevitable release on blu ray and streaming services. We'll be reviewing the film when we can so keep up on social media for news.
From free hot dogs and cup cakes in New Jersey, to $1 tacos in Dallas, many other companies are doing what they can to support employees and parks. REI are doing their bit by pledging $250,000 to the cleanup and restoration effort when the shutdown ends. You can find out how to volunteer by getting in touch with your local climber's advocacy group