New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

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New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 19, 2012 3:28 pm

This was recently on 60 MINUTES about Alex Honnold, the greatest Free Solo rock climber in the world. Video will make your heart skip a beat. His climb is similar to Free Solo climbing 3 x stacked Fantastic pits in under 3 hours.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR1jwwagtaQ
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby NZcaver » Jan 19, 2012 4:08 pm

Free solo. Don't you love it when somebody "so remarkable" comes along to push the envelope. :doh: But where's the connection with caving? I didn't see one on the video, and I really hope there isn't one.

We emphasize safety first in all things caving and vertical, and in my mind free solo doesn't really fit into that. Reminds me of the old cliché about cleansing the gene pool. :roll:
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 19, 2012 4:28 pm

NZcaver wrote:Free solo. Don't you love it when somebody "so remarkable" comes along to push the envelope. :doh: But where's the connection with caving? I didn't see one on the video, and I really hope there isn't one.
We emphasize safety first in all things caving and vertical, and in my mind free solo doesn't really fit into that. Reminds me of the old cliché about cleansing the gene pool. :roll:


Just kidding on the subject of the post. I agree, there is very little connection to caving and free solo DOES NOT fit into caving.
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby chh » Jan 19, 2012 5:03 pm

Mmmmmm. I don't know. I'd kind of like to give Alex a headlamp and watch him SMOKE everyone I know through a cave. Same thing with Uli Steck. Young? Strong? Reckless? Sure. Gifted? No doubt.
I'd LOVE to see either one of them take up caving.
But then again, they aren't the first.
Jim Bridwell for president 2012......
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby Billy » Jan 19, 2012 6:08 pm

I don't know about Bridwell, but Jim Erickson (Golden Era Colorado climber, one of the best) certainly turned hard core caver - and he did his fair share of soloing too.
Potter-Bachar-Barber-Gill -- you can chronologically go backwards on climbers who eschewed the rope and were climbing at the limit of their era. Me, I climb as hard as anyone - I just do it on easier stuff ;-)
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby chh » Jan 20, 2012 7:31 am

Billy wrote: Me, I climb as hard as anyone - I just do it on easier stuff ;-)


That's me all day long dude!
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby BrianC » Jan 20, 2012 10:51 am

His Obit. is waiting, unless he has had enough!
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby Billy » Jan 20, 2012 1:23 pm

There's quite a few that have tasted the dark side and are still around to say 'whew'. Henry Barber, John Gill, Peter Croft (forgot to mention him) all aimed high and are 'mature' now. On the other hand, people like John Bachar, who really brought free soloing to the fringe, cratered, along with Derek Hersey, and others. A good read on the subject is John Long's "The Only Blasphemy", which is a short story that I have in "Gorilla Monsoon" but believe it's included in other compendiums, maybe even on the net by now.
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby nathanroser » Jan 20, 2012 2:24 pm

I was never a fan of all the fancy showy climbing stuff, maybe we should go caving without lights to show off, those would be some great videos. :grin:
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby BrianC » Jan 20, 2012 2:32 pm

muddyface wrote:I was never a fan of all the fancy showy climbing stuff, maybe we should go caving without lights to show off, those would be some great videos. :grin:

You could get a lot of footage with very little tape.
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 20, 2012 3:02 pm

muddyface wrote:I was never a fan of all the fancy showy climbing stuff, maybe we should go caving without lights to show off, those would be some great videos. :grin:


You better have some seriously good infrared camera gear to film that excursion.
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby LukeM » Jan 20, 2012 4:11 pm

I suppose risk assessment is all relative. The only time I have a distinct bad taste in my mouth over this sort of stuff is when the person has children/dependents. IMO, once you decide to have another life rely on you to get by you forgo taking big life threatening risks. Given his lifestyle Alex Honnold appears to have very little in the way of close family and all that, and I know his mother supports him so I guess more power to him. It's impressive to see what people are capable of.
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby dutchcontractor » Jan 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Isn't this the On Rope! forum? :rofl:
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby Smells_Familiar » Jan 21, 2012 1:51 am

LukeM wrote:I suppose risk assessment is all relative. The only time I have a distinct bad taste in my mouth over this sort of stuff is when the person has children/dependents. IMO, once you decide to have another life rely on you to get by you forgo taking big life threatening risks. Given his lifestyle Alex Honnold appears to have very little in the way of close family and all that, and I know his mother supports him so I guess more power to him. It's impressive to see what people are capable of.


Exactly. I'll add a few of my own thoughts. What he capable of is amazing. He's living his dream, accomplishing goals, and definitely living a life he's happy with. He said this sport is all he's thought about since he was 10 years old. Look at him now, the greatest free/solo climber ever, generations ahead of his time (in Jimmy Chin's words).

If this was my son, and he didn't have a wife and kids, I'd give him my blessing and be so proud. I'd definitely be worried, but my happiness for him would give me just enough solace. If he dies he dies doing what he loves.
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Re: New Sport - Free Solo Climbing in Caves

Postby Jon » Jan 21, 2012 1:49 pm

My worry is that kids will try this, obviously at a a lower level (well hopefully) and make their own videos to post.... you know like the wannabe rasslers.... With all the things that they could have covered.... things that might really matter in peoples lives I find it incredible that that much time and money was spent to make that piece. The truly incredible part of it in my mind is how incredibly stupid and unsafe it was. Hey 60 Minutes how about a big segment on cordless bungee jumping? Maybe Russian Roulette with a flintlock?

Climb it fine, but with ropes. Never have the rope hold you? Damn you're good. Do that without ropes? Obviously you are missing more than a few brain cells. Proof that the gene pool needs a lot more chlorine.

Yeah, I know I'm opinionated
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