CLIMB and PUNISHMENT- An Open Telegram to Alex Honnold

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Edwin Drummond

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 19, 2010 - 09:26am PT
CLIMB and PUNISHMENT
(An Open Telegram to Alex Honnold)


Dear Alex,

Stop! Stop right now! While there’s still a chance you might live to tell how you nearly fell for it… 3000 feet more or less down the Nose route of El Capitan, bouncing and screaming for five seconds until you explode, hitting the earth at over a hundred miles an hour, beheaded at the feet of the waiting paparazzi, ghosts of the glossies. Silenced for ever.

Please stop; the bubble is trembling, stretched beyond belief, the gods are murmuring… They never repeat themselves. Let your baby panic attack on the Thank God ledge traverse on the North West Face of Half Dome, become your definitive saving grace. It was there the great white question arose from the depths as you began to fall apart, asking yourself what on earth you were doing up there, un-roped. Though not quite alone –audiences everywhere have heard the invisible camera man murmur that you can come back – the great, Tolstoyan questions begin slashing at the edge of your mind. And that, my friend, the love rush of reality into your heart (What am I doing? Where am I going?) as you stare down the infinite space beneath your feet, may well be Their first and last and one and only way of warning you that the time to turn back to search for your father on Earth has arrived.

I’ve seen the movie of your free solo ascent of that razored face, twice; heard it praised and appraised as ‘mental mastery’ – not assisted suicide, but the cutting edge of contemporary rock climbing. And I’ve been stunned by the guffaws of the audiences, especially when you start (at last!) to feel our old friend Fear, whom you’d be-foed before in a saddening attempt at wondering how climbers can become calmer, cooler, more requisitely abstract in staring down the stone, and sometimes stoned, face of Death. Let me call it.

‘Hubris:’ the country of no old men, whose thirsting warriors, dying to live, look down on those Lilliputian innocents at their feet looking up from the meadow, wondering; the long-lost native American family, resting and playing by the wandering river.

It’s clear that the contemporary climbing cult(ure?) is out for blood. Pushed to the wall a free, un-roped solo climb of El Capitan would provide them with a feast of fear, a pornographic center-fold of your inevitable fall, followed in faithful-tasteless detail as you take flight to meet your Un-maker. A cannibalistic cornucopia sufficiently sick to sate the violence consumer (for 2 or 3 hours). Don’t do it. Let El Capitan be…Not your billboard, big screen, pedestal or headstone, let El Cap remain the rising curtain on a young, long, astonishing life, your own blank page, new leaf, your empty canvas, snowfall-fresh, unsigned in blood; the clean slate where you make your mark alongside those most memorable predecessors, the ones who took the long way down: The Honorable Order of the Deck Chairs, residents of the many-seasoned meadow.
You don’t have to cross the line. You have nothing to prove. We love you. The magic happens down here too. Keep your feet on the ground Alex, think about the children following in your footsteps…

And She will find you.


Ed. Drummond.
eKat

Trad climber
BITD2
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:29am PT
Interesting first post, Ed.

Welcome to the machine.

Kath
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:30am PT
That was uncalled for.
BES1'st

climber
City of Orange, CA.
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:30am PT
BY no FS?
Knobs?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:37am PT
Welcome, welcome, Edwin. Just as others are agonizing over ST trends, you show up with this gem.

Thank you.

John
stinkeye

Gym climber
shytehole known as reno
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:42am PT
torture by thesaurus
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:50am PT
apparently knott.


is he? and if so then why would he attempt it? seems like suicide to me.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:50am PT
Well thought out and beautifully written.

I too have wondered to myself about the Half Dome gig.
And now the Nose?

Who wants it more? Alex himself,...or the ones that want Alex to want it?

How many times has he done it on a rope?

I know how solid I have been at times on certain pitches, and then gone back only to bungle a key sequence.....

Paul Preuss, Bachar and others might recommend against it, if only we could ask them.

You're well aware of the risk too Port, get up there. Why would it be uncalled for? Because he might read it and reconsider? What's your stake in it?


Edit: Not uncalled for at all. One of the most thought provoking posts here in a long time.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:55am PT
"contemporary climbing cult(ure)"? What the hell broad generalization kind of statement is that?

I'm actually not offended cuz I don't know what you are talking about. Alex is a climber that has a drive that you don't understand. BASE jumpers, Surfers, Kayakers etc etc all have the same drive (obviously some to a different degree).

I'm also pretty sure Alex could give a hobos dickcheese what anybody on the taco says about what he does and where they think his head is at. Just my 1cent.

Caylor
eKat

Trad climber
BITD2
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:57am PT
I'm wondering why anybody thinks Ed's post is uncalled for. You guys know who Ed is, right?

?

Kath
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:58am PT
eKat... yup... I know who he is and I don't think this is uncalled for in the slightest.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 19, 2010 - 09:59am PT
A little about Edwin Drummond:
http://www.poetrymatters.150m.com/index_files/places_files/SacGnds_files/drummond.html
http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=2092
(Lots more if you google the name.)

An interesting man and outstanding climber.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:00am PT
Expressing one's honest opinion is uncalled for?
Maybe in N Korea.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:01am PT
apparently some live in Korea or China around here....
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:08am PT
The Taco... schizophrenic as ever.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:12am PT
I think we all understand the mindset just fine Hank.

For you to think you understand it and we don't makes it seem like you think you're in a special class.

It's all good and Earth shattering if he makes it.

Just another tradgedy if he doesn't.

Why didn't Lynn solo it?
Croft?
Bachar?
You?
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:13am PT


http://www.bigwalls.net/climb/Troll.html
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:14am PT
if alex can believe, then he must.
stripping himself of that opportunity will only land him mediocre and dreamless.

a sincere sentiment, ed. though it is warranted only within your heart.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:15am PT
looks like Port retracted his "uncalled for" post.


....



and SuperTopo is a place where expression of the joy or pain in ones heart resides...
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:16am PT
Yeah. Kind of a gut reaction.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:17am PT
My gut reply: Mind your own f*#king business.

Edit: Refering to the OP, not Port.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:17am PT
yeah, understood. And I didn't point that out to be lame. You just left a few comments in regards to yours sitting there out of context.

I too ponder the intent and if it was called for.

I agree with survivals edit
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:21am PT
There is a point when achievment would seem to reach the level of absurdity...

But then I'm old, incapable and jealous.
ylevchenko

Trad climber
Bensalem, PA
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:22am PT
"Crime and Punishment" was written by Dostoyevskiy, not Tolstoy.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:24am PT
Yes, let's tell people how they should climb.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:25am PT
"What matters" to a 20-something and "what matters" to a 40- or 50- something plus (let alone an older climber poet) can be as different as day and night. It's really a simple truth defined largely by our biology, our wiring and programming, and those set on looking for or establishing absolutes in right or wrong in this area won't find them.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:27am PT
I don't think its for us to discourage or encourage Alex Honnold in whatever he chooses to do. Anyone other then his close friends and family.
A bunch of old farts setting around their computers sending a message to the stongest bold climber in the world to....stand down? hahaha
I think Alex has it in his capacity to do whatever he chooses to do. Far better to warn off those climbers to the Himalaya whom expose themselves to objective dangers they have no control over like rock fall, avalanches, and storm, then to beg conservativism of this new generation of young climbers that have abilities far beyond what we can comprehend.
That said, a hearty Welcome to Ed Drummond who was out breaking the limits when I was getting into climbing.
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:28am PT
I like this post. The Hollywood Gladiator Effect is so alluring that it's hard to separate what you are doing for yourself vs what you are doing for the crowd. If you win, that's great, but if you can't make the distinction and get sucked in too deep, well, free soloing is unforgiving.

Too bad it got this way. Too bad it's no longer mainly an activity for social misfits and has become so much more mainstream. It was easier to be distainful of the crowd then, and thus easier to ignore that siren call.

But, it's all still up to the individual, if you want to push it to the edge. The price you are willing to pay is strictly up to you.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:30am PT
It's all good and Earth shattering if he makes it.

Just another tradgedy if he doesn't.

Yeah, I never want anyone to say "yeah, but he died rock climbing" about me.

Climbing is great and climbing is good bit it ain't that great and it ain't that good.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:31am PT
Can people provide some input as to why this climb seems to be in a class beyond what Honnold did on Half Dome? I am pretty clueless, obviously, but I am sure there are others here like me who will read this thread and wonder where/what the specific risks are. I will assume some discussion will come out in the thread on specific sections at some point, so I hope I;m not going to get the "go away kid, ya bother me" push off.


edit: okay - tell me to shove off. I hadn't realized it was The Nose being referred to. Thought the OP Title was the name of a route being referred to. Never mind(but I still want all the young climber chicks to go after Honnold, so I will leave the post).

Personally, I wish Alex a long, happy life, and that some young hottie(who is deserving of a nice young man) snags his heart. I only saw him at the 2009 Facelift, and then of course saw the Midnight Buttress/Half Dome film, but I don't see why the girls aren't stalking him like mad.

Good Luck, to Alex, in whatever pursuits he has. Sincerely,
TacoBelle Aunt Happie
The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Tampa, FL
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:32am PT
Did I miss something? Is there talk (not just speculatory spray) that Alex is going for the captain?
tarek

climber
berkeley
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:32am PT
And all is art on a grand stage above lesser art. Lesser art that might include a less eloquent letter written to the same climber about his roped climbs, some of which are likely more dangerous than his solos. But the rope shows that we care, in a token kinda way.

Some people have green eyes, and some have a fierce drive to explore the limits of their minds as they meet nature on a scale in her favor.
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:35am PT
a huge welcome to Ed Drummond, who's heart is larger than the planet itself, who knows all the risks and all the rewards.








Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:38am PT
I was never been under the impression that Alex would choose to solo the Nose. I always though that free rider at 5.12d would be an "easier" route. Im curious what Largo will say about this.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:39am PT
yes, ed's post certainly helps to reduce the sideshow.
drljefe

climber
Old Pueblo, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:42am PT
The Nose? Really?
I figured Freerider.

The only thing that's uncalled for is Hank's comment.
Hobo dickcheese?
THAT'S next level.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:46am PT
Favorite quotes so far:

Edwin Drummond-
"I was a tree. I grew, and I cast my shadow. And now it’s time to wind down, and that in itself brings a whole new set of challenges and interests."

Mark Hudon-
"Climbing is great and climbing is good bit it ain't that great and it ain't that good."
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:54am PT
I too quite enjoyed the hobo's dick cheese comment- I might steal that for for future use. Thanks Hank.

As for this topic- if the guy does go for El Cap, hopefully he keeps it quiet until it's done.

Hopefully he does it, or doesn't do it for his own reasons and not for the folks out here in the peanut gallery.

I wasn't climbing when Bachar was pushing solo standards back in the day, but even he would say that the Moritorium was not what soloing is about. Just cuz you can doesn't mean you should- might be the point. Merely surviving is not the standard.

Croft on Astroman- did people think this was crazy and a death wish?- Probably. Some probably still think that.

Ed is right about the consequences though. They are hefty. When you are young, or really focused, it is easier to ignore those consequences so perhaps the old guy's perspective is valuable and not "uncalled for."



rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 19, 2010 - 10:58am PT
Big welcome Ed. Wonderful poet, gentle man, wise well beyond your years. Thanks for the important post. Whether Alex will listen or not is his call - but the elders have to speak up. I suspect the "camps" on this issue could be divided up on age alone. The youth do want more challenge and more glory. The graying know better.

That said, someone, someday is going to free-solo the nose. Don't know if the time is right.

Ed, I hope you stay around. Many here would appreciate your input, whether in verse or prose.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:01am PT
Drummond was doing pants-filling shite before many of us could fondle a nut.
A HUGE welcome!
Binks

Social climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:03am PT
Do it Alex, do it if you wanna! Put the oldsters in their place in history!
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:03am PT
"Why didn't Lynn solo it?
Croft?
Bachar?"

Because they were never as strong as Alex?
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:03am PT
I look at Ed's post as more of a cautionary warning from someone who has lived the climbing life and is passing on his wealth of knowledge to the next generation.

I admire that because as was noted up-thread, there are many other amazing climbers who left us too soon, and unfortunately for all of us, we can never hear their voices, posts, or wisdom again. Who knows what they would have added to the sport, or to the lives of their family and friends, had they not perished on their last climb.

I was a minor player on the edge team that lowered Werner some 600' down NA wall to rescue a roped soloing Ed Drummond in 1984(?), the same rescue that two Zodiac climbers were helped up and over. I remember how grateful Ed was to be safe after his ordeal, and thinking how fortunate I was to have an opportunity to meet and chat with him on our way up to the summit that night to camp.

Think about the wealth Ed has added since that day to the global climbing community, and what many lost when the Japanese who tried to top off the Nose during that same storm died during their brave struggle.

Ed's warning is cautionary, but I see it as loving as well, and given the source it makes me proud to be a climber.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:12am PT
Hi Ed,

I started a formal welcome to SuperTopo thread Welcome Ed Drummondso it is easy to spot. It may not be necessary since you seem to have hit a nerve with your telegram to Alex.

I have a picture above my work desk of Alex standing on "Thank God Ledge." It helps me ponder the imponderables: while I understand why climbers solo hard, I don't understand why anyone else thinks it is cool.

In some darkened corner of my mind, years ago, I remember you telling me, "Come my friend, we must all die. Why moan about it so."

Welcome to ST, verbal poet/warrior.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:14am PT
Thanks for understanding Tom Woods. When I said that, it was merely that I just don't think Alex cares or gives thoughts to anyone else on what he would or would not climb, in the manner he chooses to climb it. I said nothing bad about Ed or anything, just an opinion.

drljefe, chill dude. If you can't accept flowery opinions, go to RC.com. They can't wait for your NEXT LEVEL?????? Oooooohhhhhhh!

Caylor
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:16am PT
This isn't directed at anyone directly...

The old will offer their wisdom while the youth will feign listening. It's a repetitive cycle. As time plods along its methodical course the youth will one day take the shoes of the old and offer their wisdom - and the cycle will repeat itself.


There stands a reasonable chance that if Alex does do the solo he will one day look back on it and think it was a stupid idea. He'll see his motivations. He'll see the true and meaningful ones and he'll see the deceit in the others. And one day he'll offer his wisdom, his opinion, oblivious to Ed's offering here. There is no hypocrisy in this. None. Just the cycle.
Bargainhunter

Mountain climber
Central California
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:19am PT
One of the things that struck me in his movie of the Half Dome and Moonlight Buttress solos was his comment that each of his moves is "100% solid."

Unfortunately, the rock is not 100% solid. Bomber holds break, rockfall occurs. Imagine getting hit in the eyes or hand by during a crucial sequence by rockfall and not being able to see or use one hand...Scary!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:24am PT

and SuperTopo is a place where expression of the joy or pain in ones heart resides...

nature, i concur.

i didn't mean that Ed should not share his caution. I only met that, though it makes sense within his heart, it may not make sense within alex.
r2d2

Trad climber
East Bay
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:25am PT
There are two kinds of climbers, BOLD climbers or OLD climbers, not both.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:26am PT
larry,
they didn't have the dream....

as in this particular dream.
gonzo chemist

climber
a crucible
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:31am PT
It seems to me that if a warning and a plea is to be issued to A. Honnold and perhaps others who wish to cast off ropeless on such perilous adventures as free soloing big walls, then a warning and a plea needs to be issued to those who wish to head off into the big mountains.

How many perished last year in the mountains due to rockfall, avalanches, etc.? Heading out onto the vast flanks of snowy peaks can prove be a grim undertaking...

I don't wish to confuse the disciplines of free-soloing and mountaineering, but they both are admittedly dangerous; and a measure of consistency should be applied to any such appeal for rational fore-thought...

the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:31am PT
Great statement. Alex may or may not read it, but eloquently expressing his concern is thoughtful.

I can't begin to string words together like that but I would say to Alex:

* Make sure you are rock solid and confident in any climb your are going to free solo
* Do it for yourself, forget about everything else that motivates you and if you would do it without cameras or anyone else knowing about it, then still do it. Nothing wrong with cameras and publicity but you should do it because you want to challenge yourself, everyone else is just along for the ride.
* Think positive and confident going into it, but if things seem off, don't be resistant to backing off.
* Free soloing generates a lot of attention because it's badass. But don't let that detract from your other climbing accomplishments for yourself. Do what you want and let the people appreciate it how they want.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:37am PT
There are two kinds of climbers, BOLD climbers or OLD climbers, not both.

That statement is illogical.

There are more than enough older climbers that are bold. Donini comes to mind. And with that there are more than enough young climbers not BOLD enough to sack up to what Jim has done in his life.... ever.

Essentially that logic states that if you are OLD you are not BOLD. it would then follow that if you are KNOTT OLD you are BOLD. And in the context our discussion here - Alex's BOLDness - how do you measure up?


That's that I thought.


Weegie.... got it!

Riley: I sent you a PM. Wanted to give you a call.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:39am PT
Ed

Great post. Powerful!

To each their own but I for one would never judge Alex on his accomplishments in climbing and how he accomplished those climbs but on his character as a person.

We all know the consequences of his style, What is the reward?

The reward is his and his alone no one shares in that.
The consequences will be shared by his family and freinds?

nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:41am PT
A quick digression....


almost 60 posts in two hours and:
a) it's not a troll
b) it's 100% related to climbing

huh?


Edit: where's coz? ;-)
WBraun

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:44am PT
Doesn't matter jack sh'it what anyone says here or anywhere, as it's all talk.

When you're the climber ready to go, ... all your own internal psych and spirit will dictate what you will ultimately do or not do, regardless of all the chatter from the outside world.

jstan

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:54am PT
Life's greatest pleasure and reward is to take in a breath of good air, knowing nothing prevents another from following thereafter.

Nothing, least of all us, can keep another from thinking differently.

Our challenge is to go on undisturbed, whatever the outcome.

The expenditure - is not ours.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 19, 2010 - 12:01pm PT
When you're the climber ready to go, ... all your own internal psych and spirit will dictate what you will ultimately do or not do, regardless of all the chatter from the outside world.

Sometimes makes one wonder if the chatter drives the internal psych a bit.

Funny, all these solo ascents aren't just whispered around a campfire as part of climbing lore. They're on video.

"Dream of White Horses" indeed! Just fondled my copy yesterday, in fact.

Cheers and welcome, Ed!!

Why the image of that fart from your El Cap solo is stuck in my head, I just can't figure out. Visual imagery or some such. Yikes!

-Brian in SLC
ps: Hank: I even pulled a quote from that book for our 'proj trivia. Too funny.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 19, 2010 - 12:07pm PT
Climbers are individualistic, anarchistic, loners who don't take direction very well. I've learned not to give out much advice unless requested.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 12:44pm PT
Mr Edwin, what a pleasure. We climbed together at last years climb in at Sonora. A fine gentleman we have here folks.

Well written and well intentioned.

Does Alex ever post up here?
Fletcher

Trad climber
The beckoning silence
Mar 19, 2010 - 12:59pm PT
I have been thinking the same things that Nature has (no need for Team Popcorn™... yet!). Here is a post that is eloquently written from what seems a very genuine and heartfelt place. I don't think Ed means to impose his will and "tell" Alex what is right, wrong or something in between. It feels more like a request or even a plea to just consider what he's seen on his experienced path. Alex can consider, ignore, launch sh#t-bombs, etc. and then go do whatever he finds best in his own heart and soul.

It's about climbing (this thread)!

It's provocative!

Not everyone agrees, but folks are thoughtfully and intelligently and (dare I say it?) respectfully presenting their own thoughts and feelings and considering those of others. What fun!

Who'da thunk?

I like what Werner, jstan and Donini have to say. You guys are making me think today! To be honest, the OT stuff, which I choose to read or not read of my own free will, also makes me think and be inspired on occasion. But I can get that elsewhere too. This kind of thread is pretty unique to this kind of place.

And "hobos dickcheese".... Hank, you are a treasure! I am so grateful for all of your voices.

Eric
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:01pm PT
Sometimes makes one wonder if the chatter drives the internal psych a bit.

Funny, all these solo ascents aren't just whispered around a campfire as part of climbing lore. They're on video.

This is part of the key question to me.
Even in Preuss's day, these guys didn't do this stuff inside a bubble.
People knew about it, talked about it, and watched when they could.

The idea that outside forces, attitudes, and input don't add to the soloists internal psych, drive and motivation....well...
I would bet he's got a little posse of friends/submen telling him "You can do it man!"

He's a nice mellow guy. But he allowed himself to be filmed on H.D.

Fame, sponsors, money, these are strong drugs that even Alex isn't immune to.

Even when I did the first solo of relatively minor Karate crack, I was driven by things beyond my own little purist zen state. I KNEW that people would hear about it.


How hard is the Great Roof? Changing Corners?

How many 5.12, 13, 14 pitches are there?
noal elkins

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:20pm PT
At the recent Royal Robbins slideshow in San Carlos an audience member asked Royal what he foresaw in the future of climbing. His answer was ropeless ascents of El Capitan.
brotherbbock

Trad climber
Alta Loma, CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:21pm PT
I agree with Royal.......this is inevitable.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:28pm PT
Drummond is an old climbing friend of mine from 35 years back. Although I have always enjoyed his wittiness and enjoyable command of english, in this particular case---his “Climb and Punishment” thread--- I actually do not enjoy it and find it sensationalistic and frankly crude and kooky. Repugnant even and melodramatic. I do understand others have different opinions of course on this.

It would be better if the thread were instead “A Letter to a Young Climber”--- you know that tradition: “Letter to a Young Poet” Rilke etc. and did not take to gnawing on Alex specifically. This way, Ed could go on in abstract and still cover his general subject, a corollary to the big question, can climbing justify its deaths. In fact it really is not any of our business and certainly not Ed’s, to be talking to Alex in this manner in a public forum. Alex above all of us certainly has the clearest picture what the hell he has been up to privately and publically and has shown himself to be extraordinary intelligent as well; he does not need to experience our worry-face baggage.

And it would have been better too, if we had instead just done an Ed Drummond appreciation thread rather than undergo this very strange shocking publicly-born depiction and prayer to someone of whom he hardly has a grasp. I am sure that many would like to converse with Ed here and indeed he can be a gas and he has been around! But for me it is weird---insulting even---and again, none of our damn business what Alex is planning in real detail.

Obviously soloing one of the routes on El Cap is on the minds of many young climbers as it could be the next step taken in climbing. Most everyone knows this is part of our view these days. But it really is not too much different from many solos that have gone before in the last 40 years, just a little bit harder in most cases, this is all. Once you are up more than say 75 feet, everything is an El Cap.
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:29pm PT
When you're the climber ready to go, ... all your own internal psych and spirit will dictate what you will ultimately do or not do, regardless of all the chatter from the outside world.

Yep. No one ever took someone else's advice. We're lucky to be alive having never learned from the past or listened to those more wise than us.

It's BS. We all give advice daily and listen to or ignore advice just as often. Every action we take is a product of our environment and genetics. We process the chatter and when it's time to climb, it has a huge affect on our actions. We just want to be arrogant and deny that anyone else's opinions mattered.

And if this guy wants to publicly ask someone else to not take an extreme risk, that is his right. Only time will tell if his concern is justified but he cannot see the future to know. He must act on his own conscience and do what he thinks is right. Condemning him for being concerned about someone else's life? Dumb-asses must live here.

Dave
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:31pm PT
Lot's of respect for Ed, and he is entirely entitled to his opinion. But..

1. Doubtful that Alex would attempt the Nose as a solo. Few people have done it period and there are some very insecure sections. Freerider would be the likely target.
2. I'd argue that given Alex's existing accomplishments, El Cap via Freerider wouldn't be any bigger a step then Croft doing Astroman. Maybe less in some ways.
3. If it is not Alex, it will be someone else sooner or later. Never in history have people stopped pushing boundaries because of what some in earlier generations have thought.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:32pm PT
Survival, I believe that the great roof is 5.13 and changing corners is 5.14-. But I don't think that the nose will see the first free solo. It seems like free rider (12d) or salathe (5.13b) are more likely.
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:33pm PT
Hello Ed,

Nice post.

I like what Roger Breedlove said

while I understand why climbers solo hard, I don't understand why anyone else thinks it is cool.

AND I liked what Bachar always said.

Always use a rope

Nothing left for me to say...

Mike
drljefe

climber
Old Pueblo, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:38pm PT
brother Hank,
didn't think you'd require a smiley face...
it was your "hobo dickcheese" comment ONLY that was next level. NEXT LEVEL IMAGERY.
The rest of your post I agree with.
Chill bruddah. fer realz.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:41pm PT
I think it was a great post.

Maybe a little florid.

I give it a 9.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:50pm PT
Got it man, no worries, my humour is out there like Pluto. I can't help it and it can't be stopped.

Caylor
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 19, 2010 - 01:54pm PT
I don't know Ed. Read his essays before they got collected into that book, and he was one of the authors important in changing climbing's literary culture as well as an important climber.

The post just adds to the sideshow atmosphere. I have no idea if Honnold is seriously planning an El Cap solo (let alone The Nose), but the post as written is going to crank up the peanut gallery for hand-wringing, ranting, and whatever. Worse, since so many STers are also Yos adjacent, it might drive even more groundmonkeys out into the Meadows. Certainly it does nothing to demystify the spectacle.

Eventually, I suppose El Cap Meadows will be our version of Kleine Scheidegg 1938, but without the bad weather and all that unfortunate Nazi business.

I agree with Peter-- this post would have been at least as effective and less problematic had it been couched in generic terms.


Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 19, 2010 - 02:01pm PT
I hope Alex Honnold is NOT reading this. The free solos are inspirational, but really must come from within.
I kind of agree with Ed though (hi Ed, we met at the base of El Cap), but after all, this is just the taco, a bunch of codgers cutting farts and arguing about which wine is best served with hobo dickcheese.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 19, 2010 - 02:59pm PT
I refuse to slice hobo dickcheese sashimi.

Might it be mistaken for wasabi?
slidingmike

climber
CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:06pm PT
Some parts of this discussion remind of one of my favorite songs by the great Cat: Father & Son

It's not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy.
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy.

I was once like you are now, and I know that it's not easy,
To be calm when you've found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you've got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.

//How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It's always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go.//

It's not time to make a change,
Just sit down, take it slowly.
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to go through.
Find a girl, settle down,
if you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy.
//(Away Away Away, I know I have to
Make this decision alone - no)//

//All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it.
If they were right, I'd agree, but it's them They know not me.
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go.//
(Stay Stay Stay, Why must you go and
make this decision alone?)
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:19pm PT
sung to the words above.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jek6iP6AuAQ

mt10910

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:22pm PT
who is Alex Honnold?
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:26pm PT
This is interesting. I really took interest, with some discomfort, in Drummond's post (I say this knowing that some discomfort was likely intentional on his part.) Peter Haan kind of summarized my feelings too, but there are two things he says which I take issue with...

I think it is questionable that free soloing El Cap is the next logical development in climbing or should be viewed as such. It would certainly be amazing, but a logical development? I'll be more impressed by a free ascent of Mescalito.

After 75 feet "everything is El Cap?" If that were the case then the first free solo would be old news...
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:28pm PT
who is Alex Honnold?


He's a short Jewish kid who hasn't climbed much, but was a really, really good surfer. WE all figure the skills should transfer really, really good.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:38pm PT
Agree with Ksolem, was going to post up much the same. Logical steps in climbing are made possible by advances in gear; free soloing by its very nature is regressive. Apart from the potential fame and fortune of success, going up El Cap ropeless would remain a one-off stunt. How long would it be until it was repeated, and would it ultimately be anything more than vertical NASCAR?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:40pm PT
Perhaps the most interesting and challenging, and poetic, first post ever to grace SuperTopo.

As I read it, Ed isn't saying to Alex "Don't solo" or even "don't solo El Cap". What he seems to be saying, to me, is that before doing anything of the sort Alex should carefully consider everything about it, and if he feels a need to do it, should only do it for himself. That is, pay no attention whatsoever to the real or imagined 'needs' of sponsors, the news media, the community, or others. Absolutely none. Just himself and his family. I've read a lot of what Ed has written, and met him a few times. He doesn't seem the sort who, even as a warrior of yesteryear, would say "don't solo".

It's notable that when Peter Croft was the first to solo Astroman, in 1987, no one knew he was doing it, or saw him. He did it solely for himself, and if I remember the story rightly, the first person he talked to about it was JB at the deli, afterward.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:42pm PT
Logical steps in climbing are made possible by advances in gear
??

I don't think we have gotten from 5.10-5.14 solely by gear alone. In fact, gear has had little to do with it. Better training and new techniques have had a much bigger impact.
Ian Jewell

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:45pm PT
" hobo's dickcheese "

4 stars
WBraun

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:50pm PT
He's saying it for sure; ("don't solo El Cap"), in a veiled subconscious way.

There's no doubt.

Nothing wrong with that at all and it's just plain good ole human nature.

I wish someone would solo El Cap to put everyone in their place.

I don't agree with all this bullsh'it you have to do these things secretly and not have a camera and no one should be watching, etc etc etc.

Blah ........ why everyone so envious and jealous?

Because ....... of nihilism?
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Mar 19, 2010 - 03:53pm PT
Logical steps in climbing are made possible by advances in gear
??

I don't think we have gotten from 5.10-5.14 solely by gear alone. In fact, gear has had little to do with it. Better training and new techniques have had a much bigger impact.

Yep, true, was thinking along the lines of shoes and clean pro, but how much in the way of training and technique is really going to lead to a new generation of big-wall free soloists? [If not for ropes and gear to hang from, how many of those new techniques would have evolved at all?]

Ultimately it's the same old fundamental ethics of climbing at all question, pressed to the most extreme possible set of circumstances "Climb if you will, but remember, etc."
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 19, 2010 - 04:04pm PT
oh man, even this great thread is turning negative. I generally try to stay quiet in such controversies, but if anything personally I found Peter H's comment way off base. I find Ed's OP a statement from deep affection and coming from deep experience with life. If only ST had more wisdom like his. So speaking from the heart is now "sensationalistic, kooky, and repugnant". For myself I find such shallow critique to be repugnant - kind of ruined my day.

Lets keep in mind, Alex made a movie of his solos. While I hesitantly admire what he's done he certainly can't expect to remain incognito when his feats of daring are plastered all over youtube. The Telegram was no doubt addressed to Honnold, but obviously applies to everyone and anyone who take extreme risks.
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 19, 2010 - 04:12pm PT
I agree with the sentiment that one should push themselves, not be pushed to push the line.

As far as next logical development, heck climbing isn't logical at al. For whatever reason, I do see a free solo of El Cap as a milestone that is the next step of opening minds to what is possible. I don't know why this is so, as obviously cratering from El Cap will kill one just as sure as cratering off of Half Dome. But I detect from others comments that there is a similar feeling of, free soloing El Cap, no way man.

Perhaps it's the concern not so much that it isn't possible, but that someone would break the boundry of what we consider impossible. It's nice to think that there are still some challenges that are not only beyond us, but beyond all. And when that breakthrough occurs, to where all will be possible with enough commitment, training and willingness to risk it, well, in a way that is a shame.
Gene

Social climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 04:14pm PT
Mighty Hiker & Rockermike,

You get it. Look at Ed’s phrases:

Paparazzi
audiences everywhere
the invisible camera man
stunned by the guffaws of the audiences
a free, un-roped solo climb of El Capitan would provide them with a feast of fear, a pornographic center-fold
sufficiently sick to sate the violence consumer
Not your billboard, big screen, pedestal or headstone
The Honorable Order of the Deck Chairs

Keep your feet on the ground Alex, think about the children following in your footsteps…


Those children aren’t the biological progeny of Alex.

Alex is a metaphor for action without honest consideration of consequence. I take Ed's telegram to be about motive, not action.

El Cap free solo will be done.
g
reddirt

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
hehe, I too was making a mental list of my fav quotes from this thread.

I wish someone would solo El Cap to put everyone in their place.
takes the cake

OMG I've become one of those what-Werner-said people.
Fletcher

Trad climber
The beckoning silence
Mar 19, 2010 - 04:44pm PT
Didn't James T. Kirk solo something on El Cap? Oh that's right, he fell... OK, got that out of the way. :-) I looked for the video, but couldn't find it. But I don't think that would add to this thread anyway.

I don't necessarily think this thread is going negative. There's conflict, disagreement, yes. But I'm just seeing a range of views and pretty much all are thoughtful and well stated. I keep seeing new perspectives and am enjoying the process of the discussion getting hashed out.

Eric
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Mar 19, 2010 - 04:48pm PT
Werner you stated a while back that freerider has been soloed already, by someone wishing no recognition for the deed ... i believed you but guess it's not the case

Honnolds doing it for the cameras, Croft wasn't like that

this will end badly
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:02pm PT
People have been soloing in front of movie cameras since Leni Riefenstahl directed Das Blaue Licht. Ueli's going to solo Metanoia for Jeff Lowe's movie. We've seen movies of any number of European stars on rad solos in the Alps.

Saying that one should solo only for oneself is essentially saying that no one should be a professional climber. Many of us may long for the good old days of dirtbags and trustfunders, but the age of the amateur is over.

Moreover, for the new gen, video is no different than stills were for the oldsters. My students video themselves doing absolutely everything, even when there's no chance anyone will pay them.
WBraun

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:04pm PT
Maybe maybe not who knows. Do you know what providence holds?

If the man falls off then next life he'll return to try and finish the task again?

All kinds of insects/frogs/critters, free solo on El Cap daily ..........
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:08pm PT
Cat Stevens?

WTF?
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:10pm PT
What kinds of critters Werner?

Caylor
WBraun

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:10pm PT
Rodents .......
okie

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:12pm PT
Yeah, what Werner said...lol!
One time I watched Werner soloing at Arch Rock. On the crux section at the top of English Breakfast Crack his movements did not seem fluid, kinda jerky and it made me nervous to watch. But he probably was in total control and the fear was entirely mine, not his...at all.
Like Tom Woods said, just surviving should not be the standard. Isn't the ultimate standard the climber themself as best protection?
Life and death are equal. A climber could solo a hard route in total control, never in danger and then get the chop driving home to his family.
WBraun

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:16pm PT
So ....?

The moral of the story?

Don't drive home .......
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:22pm PT
hahahahahahaha

werner's on a roll
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:29pm PT
I thought Peter's post was at least as distasteful as Ed's.

Next logical step? Maybe. For a select few.

Kind of like running it out on the back of Half Dome. But then rap bolting for a "safe" route that would become the new classic, became the next step.





Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:31pm PT
Does Alex have children? That should be the deciding factor. Everything else is up to Alex.

If you have minor children who depend on you, you have no business soloing.

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:43pm PT
Honnolds doing it for the cameras, Croft wasn't like that

Don't let facts get in the way of your narrative.

Painted Spider: 7min of Croft soloing the Rostrum
Tips: well published photo of Croft soloing up (then back down) this classic fingercrack.
There are others, pics soloing Red Zinger, and probably a lot more that I don't know off the top of my head. And I don't mean that as a knock on Croft in any way, shape, or form.
elcap-pics

climber
Crestline CA
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:59pm PT
the lad has a wonderful mother... does her feelings count?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Mar 19, 2010 - 06:03pm PT
If you have minor children who depend on you, you have no business soloing.

Word
(and then some; "depend on you" goes way beyond financial support)...
okie

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Mar 19, 2010 - 06:29pm PT
Or don't solo, Ha Ha! Whatever, Death is still waiting...Yeah, It's all about choices...until it's not anymore.
Enjoy it while ya got it.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Mar 19, 2010 - 07:38pm PT
Honnolds doing it for the cameras, Croft wasn't like that

Don't let facts get in the way of your narrative.

To clarify my statement, Croft didn't arrange for film coverage for his first solo of Astroman, like Honnold did for Halfdome. Whatever ... obviously things are different now

Soloists choose death to be an option, who are we to judge. Ask Bachar or check some of his final posts for insights.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 19, 2010 - 07:47pm PT
Touché Ed Drummond!

I am loving this: a provocative entreaty, spurring discussion which fractures out in all measure of direction.
(Free soloing for me runs deep; primal, instinctive, tribal … yes, but unyielding to discursive cultural narrative).

In my naiveté, my Pollyanna ways of absorbing intent and divining abstruse directives, I took Ed’s whole piece as a lush entertainment, poetically assaying the complexion of the times as they stand, here, now, today: dedicated to Alex only in so far as he is the current holder of highest suspicion upon said deed.

I read this thing, in short, as do most: just as I wanted to.
… And enjoyed it very much !!!


Welcome do the forum Ed!
-Roy
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 07:50pm PT
Yikes Ed, laying it on a bit thick don't you think? made me laugh. . .So I guess your post wasn't a complete waste of time. . .
MH2

climber
Mar 19, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
Whew! If Alex can't handle his own life, then I'm greatly mistaken. I saw that movie, too, and he sounded genuine and smart. Of course, trouble is, as he said so rightly, the motivation to do something like he's done is huge, if you can handle it. Against that urge you have to keep a really clear mind and gauge your chances.

I'm sympathetic for his Mom.

Anything Ed Drummond says is going to be worth saying, but this may just be a generational divide.
Send

climber
Earth
Mar 20, 2010 - 06:10am PT
It seems to me that the OP'ers poetry sounds more like high school gossip in the girls locker room. Ed, did you talk to Alex yourself about his plan to solo the Nose?

If not, just leave the guy alone and let him make his own decisions.

I'm not going to post up on dirtbikers.com and tell somebody to stop riding cause I gotta 'feeling'.
sullly

Trad climber
CA
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:00am PT
I just don't think the OP is well written. But I'm just an english teacher, so what do I know.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:08am PT
Ed, if you are reading along, have you noticed how varied the responses are to your post, from the literal up and down voting on Alex' right to solo, the sensibility of you telling him to stop, to a few readers who took the piece from a step back in which Alex' soloing is just the structure of your reflections of how soloing fits into a life.

I think this sort of instant feedback across a wide range of perspectives is a unique feature of 'publishing' on a forum. I think it is sort of cool.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:23am PT
Roger... you left out there part where a widely published and highly regarded writer's english is criticized.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:34am PT
Sully: I think Ed's prose style is mostly poetic images that get strung together in loose sentences. What he wrote here is not edited. I think that if it had suited him, the images, the word associations and play, the disjointed linking of several histories, and whatever Ed means by "And She will find you." would fit together nicely.

Nature: Ed's piece is a little rough; more speaking style than written. But for Ed, that is a matter of choice: Ed knows how to write any way he wants and has been doing it for a long time.

Two of the most interesting observations about ST is that almost all of the posters can write clear prose, and those who struggle, for whatever reason, are usually not criticized. It seems to be a self selection criterion.

aaronjones

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:12am PT
suck a phat 1
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:16am PT
Fletcher- I heard that after James T. Kirk fell, he came back the next day and finished the thing off with out the cameras and the annoying guy asking if the climb was logical.

PS- this drummond guy, who I don't know, can really write.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
North Fork, CA
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:22am PT
They say no man can step in the same river twice...

If he solos it or doesn't I don't care, but it was a nice post, I enjoyed reading it even if I was unaware of its shortcomings regarding proper English (I ain't none too good at making fancy words). I look forward to more and am actually a little surprised by the discussion.

Soloing El cap would be pretty cool, but it would also be cool if it never was, I'm not talking bloodbath at the base I'm just saying I wouldn't mind if it was never attempted. Would El cap lose some mysticism if it were soloed?

Also, should there be a question mark are the end of "...but I'm an English teacher, so what do I know."? That's a serious question, because I'm not an English teacher and need to quit putting a "?" if one isn't necessary.

-JR
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:29am PT
Everything I've read by Mr Drummound has been well worth my time. OP included. Hard to object to any trace of literacy hereabouts.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:52am PT
Ed,
fantastic post and very telling of the changes the sport has gone through.
I too sometimes feel as if the modern media world drives this bus of over extreme exposure on all levels (think tiger woods etc)...

solo climbing should be all that- solo. when the camera and or video comes along it changes the game... now i am calling the kettle black here as i have solo pictures with me and JB simu solo..but... at some point it could get ugly...

Hankster- Ed is solid old school and a bad ass in his day. I remember his solo attempt of N. A wall and the epic storms he went through. I find his prowse to be complimentary as well and call to see Alex find a long happy life in climbing. Current path may not lead to that, but if it makes him happy...

smith/cosgrove 2012
soloing since 1980...
Tahoe climber

climber
Davis these days
Mar 20, 2010 - 09:03am PT
I think, like watching someone's climbing style, that watching everyone's response to the OP tells a lot about them, and not that much about anything else.

Some are conservative and careful, but lack vision.
Some are balls-out go for it, but w/o planning for the future.
I'd bet the lives and climbing style of each is similar.

Meanwhile, on the topic itself: I think it's none of anyone's business if he does it. Alex is rad and smart and he should live his life - short or long - just the way he damn well pleases.
It is, at least, an interesting climbing topic, and not the other side of the Supertopo coin.

I also agreed with Hank and Werner.

And most of all, I agreed with Donini: "Climbers are individualistic, anarchistic, loners who don't take direction very well. I've learned not to give out much advice unless requested."

TC
mt10910

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 09:14am PT
the ultimate solo
is the one you don't
tell anyone
about
pc

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 09:34am PT
Nice entrance.

Welcome to the fry Ed.
mt10910

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 09:58am PT
If a religous group drives a kid to the edge of cliff.
And tell him jump,jump, jump. G-d wants you to jump.
And the kid jumps.
Do the people involved get charged with second degree mansluaghter?


Manslaughter in the second degree is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being without malice either express or implied, and without intent to kill or to inflict the injury causing death, committed accidentally in the commission of some unlawful act not felonious, or in the improper performance of an act lawful in itself. Manslaughter in the second degree may be committed by the doing of an unlawful act, or the doing of a lawful act in an unlawful manner, although at the time the defendant did not actually know that the act would result in homicide, and this notwithstanding, after the act was done, or while in progress the defendant used ordinary care to prevent the taking of human life; nor is the intention to take life necessary in a prosecution for this offense.
Credit: mt10910
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Mar 20, 2010 - 10:04am PT
At his presentation to the RIM club, Alex said that that scene on thanksgiving ledge was kind of staged. That he was taking a breather, wasn't gripped, but there were some other crux moments on the climb.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Mar 20, 2010 - 10:12am PT
Kurt, I know about Ed. That's why I said nothing bad towards him. I just don't think Alex cares what others think about how he chooses to climb, maybe Ed knows different.

I very much appreciate that Ed cares alot about Alex and his future.

Caylor
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 20, 2010 - 10:19am PT
What about the hobo?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 20, 2010 - 10:25am PT
I think he does care what others think about his climbing.
He's too nice of a guy not to.

Everyone, almost to a man cares about what others think, at least a little.

If he didn't care what others thought, he wouldn't have had cameras along on HD.

And "staging" on one of the biggest free solos of all time?
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 20, 2010 - 10:26am PT
You sound like his mom.
mt10910

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 11:01am PT
is that a bad thing?
mom's rule
everyone has got one
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 20, 2010 - 11:05am PT
Yeah but do we need more than one?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 20, 2010 - 11:19am PT
Uh, yeah we do, babyface....
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 20, 2010 - 11:27am PT
I dunno...I don't think so.

When I read they OP, I got the impression that it seemed to assume Alex as some foolish kid climbing on a whim. I've met Alex in the valley and he's very much an adult who climbs with intention.

Leave him be, imho. If soloing El Cap is what he wants for his life, then so be it. Maybe for some people it IS worth dying for.

Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Mar 20, 2010 - 11:27am PT
Look. Alex IS a BIG boy, and he calculates his risks and rewards carefully, or he would not still be alive. His talents and his courage are on his sleeve, visible for anyone to see who has heart and experience.




And Ed IS a BIG boy, with a lifetime of daring and laughter under his belt already. I cannot fault his experiences.

But, we just finished a BAD year. And I can't fault him either for his heart driving him to make such a post.


After Skinner, where a few words and a spare harness would have saved his life. After JB.

I should not write this, but I considered, and may even have posted, a mild warning to Bachar about beginning to climb again, solo, so soon after the fusion. I have a fusion of my own, from several years ago (lower by a lot), and am familiar with the weakness and unreliability of the muscles after such an injury and recovery. I spent a solid year where I didn't do much but mountain bike, and I was quite scared of a fall then. I didn't trust my back not to fall apart before the bone mash had plenty of time to solidify around the hardware. No climbing, even toprope, for fear of a whip. No skiing. Nothing but a little walking and a little LOW bouldering, stuff so easy it wouldn't be considered bouldering here.

So when HE complained that his strength would suddenly fail him at unforeseen moments "like someone was turning down a dial in his arm", I KNEW what he was saying, and I actually DID fear for him, upon reading that. And when he died, I felt long hurt, (still do) even without knowing him, that I had not pushed a warning home harder. To this day, I wish I had. Not that I think he would have changed his ways, but just MAYBE ...




After the way I/we felt about our loss of Bachar, how can anybody fault Ed for trying to warn Alex? Can you have a vision of the loss of a giant, and not say something?

Maybe so.

According to circumstances.

You can't be yelling "Yer Gonna Die" to sombody focused on the crus in a life or death move. Or you shouldn't. But I can't fault Ed for caring enough to send a request out into the world to TAKE CARE.




Life is good for most of us healthy pirates, and when it's over, its irreparable and irretrievable.






I don't know Alex at all, Don't THINK I ever even saw him, but I say this to him ... If you desire to attempt such a climb; Be SURE before you start such a venture. There can be NO doubt, NO mistake, NO imperfection in the attempt. No Distractions, No Changing Your Mind, No Waffling, once you lift off.

If nothing else, the insurance companies and the legislators and the administrators responses to such deaths would (likely) eventually place restrictions and do harm to our freedoms of access and personal responsibility. It is not to be encouraged.


Free Solo is a matter of deep personal understanding and of soul. Lets keep it that way.
I don't think I could stand another such loss so soon to our sport and our ranks. And I don't want to find out if I am wrong.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 20, 2010 - 12:57pm PT
check out the climbers and responsibilites thread - most recent Paul Toleman (sp?)

relevant to here.

Soloing : margins of error are essentially nil. But what about Dean Potters base jump back up rig? now that is the sh#t if yer into this stuff. its gotta be steep i guess.

It's his row to hoe. let him go. its his life. But your right about 10 years from now, if he makes it, will he look back with a little humble pie?

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Mar 20, 2010 - 01:09pm PT
um, what's a Friend?
jstan

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 03:04pm PT
I must say. It is a beautiful day today.
Brock

Trad climber
RENO, NV
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:03pm PT
I don't mind reading about it (whether it occurs successful or in death). I do feel it is wrong to have it filmed. Nor should it be anounced prior to any attempt. It should be between Arnold and the rock. Would love to watch the film of such an event, but would hate to see someone fall to their death too. (this was edited thanks to WBraun noting my lack of attention to my writing).

There needs to be prior attention to making sure he is not in the falling line of anyone below him in case he should pitch. I would be pissed if he was soloing above me.

Would there be consequences for future roped climbers from the Yosemite rangers if such a stunt ends badly (unlikely, but maybe)?

Interesting forum.

WBraun

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:18pm PT
"I do feel it is wrong to have it filmed and announced prior to any attempt."

How does one film a free solo before an attempt?
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 20, 2010 - 07:40pm PT
Sorry but I pretty much think every point it Brock's post above is a crock of sh#t.

First who cares if he wants to be filmed. He makes a living off his climbing. The stakes are different. It's not like he's the first to be filmed pushing the limits. Who are you to tell him his style is wrong? In the same breath you say you want to watch but think it's wrong. Which is it?

Second, "falling line?" Are you serious? Look any time you choose to climb under someone you assume the risk of objective hazards falling from above, be it rocks, gear or bodies. What's he gunna do post a sign at the base?

Third, consequences from the NPS from him falling while being filmed??? WTF? LOL! Yeah maybe they will ban climbing because it's dangerous. Or make video cameras illegal along with power drills!

Again sorry to bust you balls Brock, but put down the bong brah, cause yer high.
Jeremy Handren

climber
NV
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:08pm PT
Jeez Ed...coming from the man who did LInden?

you're the last guy who should be wagging his finger at someone who winds his neck out on occasion.
Brock

Trad climber
RENO, NV
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:16pm PT
Every one has an as#@&%e, everyone has an opinion. Think I will take my chances with some one climbing with a rope above me rather than someone freesoloing a 5.13 above me. BTW...I don't smoke the stuff.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:26pm PT
The filming for the movie occurred after Alex did the climbs people!

Sorry, I believe the "staged" and "Honnold doing it for the cameras" and "Croft didn't arrange film coverage after his first solo of Astroman, like Honnold did for Half dome" talk needed to be clarified.

I think he does climbs for himself. He has nothing to prove.

Erik
Brock

Trad climber
RENO, NV
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:33pm PT
I think the guy is an incredible climber. I don't think soloing is a thing of "something to prove." I have nothing against Alex, as I am sure he is a great person. I respect the mental capacity and physical capability that it takes to freesolo a route, but I guess I don't fully understand risking your life for it.
jstan

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 08:53pm PT
Even though now dark, it is still a very nice day out there.
Chief

climber
Mar 20, 2010 - 09:12pm PT
Ed Drummond on ST.. cool.
The mere thought of the Changing Corners unroped almost made me fall off the last time I was there. Hats off to Peter, Dean and Alex for that kind of composure. Moonlight Buttress and NW Half Dome unroped?
You just don't want to see that kind of pushing it end badly like it often does. I still haven't seen a climb worth dying for.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 20, 2010 - 10:29pm PT
"suck a phat 1"

lol
I just read all the posts in this thread and Aaron's is my favorite. Spoken like a true Monkey.

Other then that I'm pretty much with Werner and Peter Hann.

After watching Tommy work those Changing corners moves on video I think you'd have to be an idiot to solo the Nose.
Chinchen

climber
Anacortes, wa
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:46am PT
Ed, welcome. Thank you for getting everyone to talk about climbing for a change, and thank you for caring.
mt10910

climber
Mar 21, 2010 - 05:45am PT
I thought we were talking about
a different sport than climbing,
sport dying
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2010 - 08:19am PT
Lambone say:

"After watching Tommy work those Changing corners moves on video I think you'd have to be an idiot to solo the Nose."


To me this is the most obvious giveaway, plausible deniability if you like, that the OP is not to be taken completely literally, it IS couched in generic terms, as KLK said it could/should have been. (Though it is quite sincere in its general appeal concerning free soloing, but proposed in a veiled subconscious way, as Werner said). The Nose is simply not on the block currently, while Free Rider certainly is and to that end we have fertile ground for discussion.



Yet, knowing full well how it feels when completely solid in cordless mode, (and suspecting Dean's well grounded understanding of Alex) I loved Bullwinkle's response:

"Yikes Ed, laying it on a bit thick don't you think? made me laugh. . .So I guess your post wasn't a complete waste of time. . . "

I enjoyed Dean's words, because, as Werner stated:

"Doesn't matter jack sh'it what anyone says here or anywhere, as it's all talk.

When you're the climber ready to go, ... all your own internal psych and spirit will dictate what you will ultimately do or not do, regardless of all the chatter from the outside world."



There are some details concerning other components of this discussion which have been brought forward, which relate to the core of Mr. Drummond's offering. That is, the community at large was not expecting, anticipating a free solo of New Dimensions, Nabisco Wall, or Astroman. Maybe The Rostrum.

Things have changed ...





Rich.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:21am PT
Elevated Giant Slalom – a new winter sport for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia—promises excitement, a fast pace, a rugged course…and wipeouts.

"An electrifying sport for participants and spectators alike."

"You want crashes? You like a sport where the winner might well be the last one standing?"

Elevated Giant Slalom will be the sport to watch in 2014.

What is Elevated Giant Slalom?

Elevated Giant Slalom is based on combining free-solo rockclimbing and Giant Slalom skiing. The course is built on a 4 meter wide raised track. There are no rails, and no need for gates. Elevation above the ground is dependent on course layout, with fall heights of up to 225 meters. Skiers travel down the track with many features adapted from those found in Giant Slalom courses. The race requires skill, strength, mental certainty and physical endurance because of the demands of the course. Helmuts are optional. Skiers who fall off the track are disqualified.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:30am PT
"Yikes Ed, laying it on a bit thick don't you think? made me laugh. . .So I guess your post wasn't a complete waste of time. . . "

Funny as hell til someone pitches into space from up there.....

Yet, knowing full well how it feels when completely solid in cordless mode

But how many people will EVER be solid on 5.14 Changing Corners?

About the same number of people stepping up to repeat Southern Belle I'd wager.

Things have changed ...

Hitting the ground hasn't changed.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:30am PT
Lambone: What's he gunna do post a sign at the base?


Soloist Up
Soloist Up
Credit: cintune
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:35am PT
Good one Roger.
Remember Rollerball?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:38am PT
Which leads to the obvious Elevated Giant Slalom Cross event scheduled for the 2018 Olympics.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:41am PT
I will be impressed as anyone if and when it gets done.

All I'm saying is that there is a limit to what the human form can do, and especially what the sponsors or the "community" thinks is the next step.

No one will ever dyno from the Grand Terrace of Half Dome and catch the visor, nor should we be encouraging the young bulls to try it.

I'm all for pushing the limits, but don't want to see guys dying trying to follow Alex's steps.

Hey Ed, are you too aloof to come back to the party you started?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Mar 21, 2010 - 09:48am PT
I don't understand why anyone else thinks it is cool.

Because being in such a situation captures perfectly the 'oh my GOD!' aspect of climbing we were first attracted to...

not the mastery. Not the technique. Not the endurance, fitness, strength.

All that came after.

Came after that first mind blowing instant when we realized 'OH MY GOD YOU MEAN PEOPLE CAN DO THAT!'

It captures perfectly that thing Bachar referred to as 'being on the Dark Side of the Moon.'

Sure, watching someone like Honeold its vicarious. Doesn't make the feeling any less genuine.

Seeing someone, up there, so small, so fragile, so microscopic and insignificant, maintaining, progressing, even excelling.

It so blows the doors off the pedestrian normality of our day to day climbing worlds as to wake us, nay, SHAKE US awake with the wild knowledge that deep down, at the core of our carefully protected and projected image of a safe and sane sport, at its very hereditary core,

there is a wild beast in climbing. And while it may have been tamed or killed in us... seeing it so flagrantly displayed, those images from the Dark Side of the Moon....

the blood still flows.

And you caaaaaaaaaaaant stop it.

DMT
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:17am PT
One OP = 159 responses. A good discussion. Hopefully Edwin will drop by again and add to his remarks.
Swami Jr.

Trad climber
Bath, NY
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:25am PT
amen mighty hiker. Great post, great discussion. Ed knows what he knows, and Alex as well. Probably both are right even if they're in disagreement. I guess the best we can all hope for is that climbing is on a path we are proud of.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:46am PT
There is an unacknowledged optional component of the leading edge soloists arsenal. It's called the backup party. I played this role for Croft and Fraser when they did the first cordless ascent of West Buttress of the South Howser Spire in the Bugaboos. (Chouinard Beckey route). There were 4 of us on the route that day, including the soloists, each well aware of the others, yet separated by an hour or two on the line.

Upon reflecting this thread, it's clear to me that Honnold is far smarter than Ed Drummond gives him credit for. What better way to incorporate the “backup party” failsafe plan into the ascent than to disguise them as the documentary film team.

It's also clear that Freerider is the prize of the next generation soloist. Quite simply there would be no smarter plan, than to plant Sender Films camera men AND supplies like water, food and bivy gear all over the route. The soloist would not even have to do the route in a single day to achieve a cordless ascent. Better to rest a night on a ledge before those steep upper pitches.

Recall in the Half Dome film, Honnold isn't even wearing a camelback. He's set a precedent for cordless ascents, and it's been accepted.

I think Honnold knows what Honnold is doing, better than anyone. He has plenty of resources at his disposal, including the “backup party”. He's a brilliant climber and also a crafty logistician .....

The appearance of doing it "for the cameras" is the viewers perspective, to Honnold they are part of his team.

It's a new genre, "supported cordless" ascents, which has cracked open the grade VI's. Ironically it's been enabled by video production.

Bravo Alex !
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:49am PT
John's backup party got to him while he was still alive.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 21, 2010 - 11:01am PT
Caughtinside: "Yes, let's tell people how they should climb."

Consumers of sports entertainment do that every time they endorse someone's latest and greatest with their purchase of the footage. When you approve of someone's radness, you're kinda telling them what to do same as when you disapprove.

I don't know nothin' about Alex, but it doesn't hurt his bottom line as a pro climber to have a Taco thread critical or otherwise of his deeds and plans.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 21, 2010 - 11:31am PT
hard unroped solo climbing is by its very nature a personal affirmation of confidence and ability in yourself. What other people say, media, photographers, etc., have no bearing.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 21, 2010 - 11:37am PT
"What other people say, media, photographers, etc., have no bearing."

Perhaps for some, but everyone I know rolls a little bit differently when they know they are being judged, for better or worse. If media had no bearing, media wouldn't be part of it. Have you ever gone to work when you didn't feel like it?

Or maybe I read you wrong, and you are saying that solo climbing involves one person?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 21, 2010 - 11:46am PT
I tried to find online the video that Ed had seen. I found a trailer for the Moonlight Buttress solo, in which Cedar Wright has a voice over, "Free soloing is the ultimate, most pure form of rock climbing known to man."

I have always objected to this idea that hard free soloing is the ultimate form of rock climbing (Royal started down that path in the early 70s), in the same way that I object to the fastest ascent or hardest sport climb are the ultimate form of climbing. I cannot think of any direct statements from free soloists that they think they are somehow defining the ultimate form of rock climbing; they all seem to take a more private view of their motivations. But in reading the comments posted on the site with the Moonlight Buttress trailer, Cedar's notion seems to be accepted.

It also seems to me that Alex is implicitly promoting that notion. Of course Alex is free to climb anyway he wants and free to make a living selling his skills to video makers. But I cannot image a sane person not grounding their actions within an inclusive view of what others think. Alex is promoting hard free soloing for all the reasons that he cares about.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
im sure that the rewards and the potential rewards explode in beautiful feelings within alex.

we shant piss on his fire.
jstan

climber
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:21pm PT
Each person who thinks it makes a difference whether something has been done unroped, by thinking this, encourages someone to attempt it.

This entire thread, including Drummond's OP is a de facto promotion of such an act.

I can understand a person deciding they want to go unroped.

I can't understand how a bystander could be willing to encourage others to do this.


On a slightly different subject.

The NPS prohibits base jumping because it is not an appropriate use of the Park, however that is determined.

Ask yourself, why that question will not arise as regards climbing should there be a frankly shocking high profile incident.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:25pm PT
the only significant difference is who alex becomes in his own heart, his own eyes, and his own mind.

we, the specatators, receive only a fraction of that, on the periphery of his accomplishments, and / or failures.

he encourages me to dream.
there, he has succeeded.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:50pm PT
it seems that folks need to proceed with their nightmares.
let alex go forth with his dreams, please.

...
i was going to stop and think,
but instead i chose to dream.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:55pm PT
How do you know what is his dream or his nightmare? What you really care about are your own.
taorock

Trad climber
Okanogan, WA
Mar 21, 2010 - 01:57pm PT
Good heavens. ED's comments are no different than what everyone has experienced from the old guard. Good thing too. I remember pissing off knicker and boot clad climbers when I wore tennis shoes and shorts on talus slopes. In defiance we started running down them with our hands in our pockets. Yet it was a knicker clad oldster who taught me the ropes (thanks Mr. Munger).

We are fortunate to be in an activity (sport, passion, profession) where old and young are mixed, as well as the well off and dirtbags; educated and not. I would hope that Mr. H is wise enough to listen to ED's statements. Doesn't mean he needs to follow them.

We really don't climb in a vacuum or without the benefit of those pioneers that came before. IMO, to the extent that Mr. H's drive is powered by the spotlight of bystanders is the proportion lending legitimacy to ED's statements. If Mr H is soloing for his own reasons, I'm fine with it. I just object to the overt marketing of climbing in general. There is the rub, it is rather subjective especially seeing as I have soloed myself - although never at my climbing limit (except for a highball boulder problem or two;-)

The younger generation seems to have a whole different view of documentation and expression than I have. Likely a generational divide. I've viewed the video's of soloists wearing a cam on their helmet and quite enjoyed them, but I just don't have it in me to be a bystander/audience/filmer to the making of an extreme solo. I've seen enough gore in my life, thank you. I don't watch auto races either and prefer uncrowded backwater crags as well.

Go with grace all involved,

tao
10b4me

Ice climber
Ice Caves at the Sads
Mar 21, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
Doesn't matter jack sh'it what anyone says here or anywhere, as it's all talk.

When you're the climber ready to go, ... all your own internal psych and spirit will dictate what you will ultimately do or not do, regardless of all the chatter from the outside world.

once again, Werner hits the nail on the head.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 21, 2010 - 02:30pm PT
nightmares equal fears.

dreams equal vision.

let yours, and my, and sir alex's life proceed by their own design.

melissa dear,
you may drop your dave turner borne grudge with me.
i've grown beyond that experience.

have you please,

i care about melissa and alex and ed drummond and the angels in between us.

you don't know what i care about.

spry girl.

your current vision between us is blinded by anger and angst. you'll not see clearly til you let that go.

sincerely,
the dumb asse.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 21, 2010 - 03:21pm PT
My Dave Turner what? I think you're confusing me with someone else.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2010 - 07:27pm PT
Debating the pros and cons of free soloing isn’t what I find interesting, or particularly revealing in this type of conversation, because those stances and their merits are patently obvious to me (how people go about debating it is revealing, however).

Debate doesn’t really seek to reveal truth, although dialectic can be useful to eliminate extraneous and contradictory propositions, generally debate and argumentation is about winning and losing. What is honed there is strategy, tactics, presentation. It doesn’t seem flexible and open enough to nurture insight. People don’t go to court to seek truth, they go there to win.

I’d certainly be very careful to presume to know anything about Alex, and personally choose to leave him out of it.

What’s interesting here, for me, lies more within the contextual: on one hand are the changes that climbing has undergone in the last 30 years, primarily signified by a much higher exposure to media and the resulting action that may have upon the soloist. On the other hand is the age old curiosity about what drives those among us who do very different things with their lives under extreme risk, carrying a burden of socially unacceptable costs.

While I might agree that publicly spurring the soloist may be considered an irresponsible act, I don’t agree with the extreme which JStan suggested that merely tabling the discussion is in some way destructive. I get that high profile argumentation can turn the eye of authorities and yes it could lead to regulation, but, nevertheless I do not think that constructive criticism and engagement of the topic should be avoided out of fear for those outcomes.

Here’s an excerpt from a book which I find it be quite germane to the topic, although it does extend from a different milieu, from that of fighter pilots during World War II and although we might be quick to characterize fighting for one’s country as ill-compared to a “hobby” such as rockclimbing, take particular note of the degree to which the young pilot is given to the romance of his pursuit and perhaps beyond that the level of particular meaning in which he finds himself ensconced:





(excerpt from "Forever Flying", RD "Bob" Hoover)



I did NOT post this passage as a transparent defense of free soloing.
I offer it more as an exhibit toward curiosity and inquiry.

I posted it as an example of what makes people who they are and how they tick.
Especially when young.

It is also no accident that I chose this passage because the young pilot draws upon notions which touch upon, perhaps in a roundabout way, Edwin Drummond’s final statement in the OP, namely “And she will find you”. (Both the notion of female companionship, as elaborated by the young pilot, exchanged/equated with his love for flying, and sadly, the mother, as described by Bob Hoover as she searched for her son).

Some people find meaning in places which are indescribable to others.
And yes there are consequences.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 21, 2010 - 08:15pm PT
Nice post Tar!

That one may take me a bit to digest.....

I definitely see both ( or more ) sides to this discussion. I am here to learn and listen and not try to bulldoze people in most discussions I ever participate in.

In this one I kind of came down with a gut reaction, due mostly, to my distaste for the media hype/ sponsorship etc. around some of the modern accomplishments. That seems to me to be an entirely wrong reason to undertake such a climb.

I'm not saying that is why Alex or someone else would do it. But I think it's more of a factor than most here seem willing to admit.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2010 - 08:20pm PT
Not that you and I could claim much direct experience with it, but I'd bet in modern times it's unrealistic to portray a separation, a firewall if you will, between the two any a longer.

The question is one of degree; how much influence and what kind of qualitative effect it has on choices.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Mar 21, 2010 - 08:21pm PT
its symbiotic in a positive way, possibly
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2010 - 08:24pm PT
Yes symbiotic.
And it can be positive.

Although a two-way street, money can bring opportunity.
Exploration and standards evolve, always at a price, but things happen to push the forefront of activities.


Has anybody seen a documentary called Steep?
A really good treatise on extreme skiing.
And there is death, very poignant death.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 21, 2010 - 08:57pm PT
You're right Tar.
We labored away in more or less pure obscurity, for the love of the game.

There are still many who do it for that alone.
Some great things get done out of the spotlight.

I don't know if there are many who actually shun the lights.....
Or would we all flock to it like moths?
Tahoe climber

climber
Davis these days
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:47pm PT
Responses still tell more about poster than about Alex. Think about it.
And, Alex knows what he's doing.

No free-soloist in history has ever been fooled about what the consequences are of failure.

TC
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:52pm PT
Poetic in a time of reaction - very nice and caring post from someone who has been to the edge.

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 22, 2010 - 06:07am PT
Nobodies pissing on any Fire Norwegian. This is much more than some exestential fart into the ether.Perhaps I have to see a little to much reality everday, but you sir, should see a little more.

radical,
my wife is a nurse. thus, by association, i chew on sinewy reality often.
im raising two daughters - lots of reality there.
i pay taxes, i pause dreams. - reality? check.
i've been forced to free solo at my leading limit at night in the rain - up and then back down-climb. thus i share wee empathy with the subject of this thread.

your reflections are valid. aren't mine?

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 22, 2010 - 06:38am PT
Steep is good. some interesting stuff about some of our local boys, Trevor P and Eric P, among others.

Another smoking good documentary is a thing called "6 seconds of Bliss " or something like that.

this one follows a swedish base jumper over the course of a year or so, interveiwing everyone involved - family friends etc.... Her boy friends take on risk was brilliant (luck bucket - experience bucket)

the end is predictable somewhat.

ric

Trad climber
Annapolis, MD
Mar 22, 2010 - 07:37am PT
I haven't read this site in a while. I personally think the idea of someone soloing El cap is awesome. Good Luck Alex
Bulldog

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Mar 22, 2010 - 07:50am PT
Alex, are you up their training right now? The Great Roof, the Changing Corners pitchs? Get them dialied, again and again and again, ect..................................................................................................................................................................................
aaronjones

climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 08:09am PT
y'all r tards
hooblie

climber
from where the anecdotes roam
Mar 22, 2010 - 08:10am PT
apropo the intrusion of compensation for risk on an implied event-pending basis, the billion dollar business
involving harvested body parts will be the subject of a cnbc special tues night, 7pm pdt.

missing the ball here chasing sponsorships for walking the edge while the real money is stalking the other side? screw the scruples,
be suspicious when the "team" starts packing scalpels to the big show.

tendons: $,1000 ~ corneas: $6,000 ~ heart valves: $7,000 ~ leg bones, full set: $20,000

futures contracts, off track wagers ... it's a brave new world
tolerate a tinge of macabre, then titrate to effect





disclaimer: (cyber sarcasm)
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 08:41am PT
what Aaron said. . .
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 22, 2010 - 08:49am PT
oh, those echo'ed insults hurt.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 22, 2010 - 08:55am PT
sometimes a terrorist can say it best, time for this song.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sjSHazjrWg
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 22, 2010 - 09:27am PT
Alex will do what he wants, or needs to do, for his own reasons. That's how it works. and how it needs to be.

Edwin has every right to make his comments, to express himself on this, in the the eloquent orose style we have grown to expa\ect from him.

The rest will be history.

I read 'Dreams of white horses ' last month. A very worthy read. I've followed mr drummond's writing and adventures since that Troll wall piece back when i was a wee prat growing up by a windfall...

Welcome to the Taco Edwin.

Best of luck with this and other Aspirations, Alex!
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Mar 22, 2010 - 09:51am PT
I recently re-read "The Superlative Horse", a somewhat lengthy proverb, or a short book.

It deals with the rare ability to see the true spirit of a horse, to see what other simply cannot.

It reminded me to not limit others by fencing them in with my personal perspectives. I am completely certain that there are those who see regularly what I cannot conceive of within my senses or spirit.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 22, 2010 - 10:02am PT
Good point MisterE, and often people show their fear of what they can't comprehend by dismissing it as absurd, foolsh or reckless.

And I echo Aaron. Unless you are there in the ditch with these guys all season, you can't full comprehend what they are doing or how they do it. We are tourists. So stfu when it comes to spraying online how they should live or climb.
MH2

climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 12:05pm PT
Funny, though, the apparent need to comment: us tards on stuff beyond us and Aaron's mirror urge to comment back on us.

Just talk.
Prod

Trad climber
Dodge Sprinter Dreaming
Mar 22, 2010 - 03:35pm PT
Funniest/ scariest post so far....

smith/cosgrove 2012

To the OP, I liked the writing and sentiment, but not the message.

Thank you,

Prod.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Mar 22, 2010 - 03:40pm PT
Each person who thinks it makes a difference whether something has been done unroped, by thinking this, encourages someone to attempt it.

Oh come on!

What am I thinking RIGHT NOW?

How does this thought (its about you btw) affect you in anyway?

DMT
jstan

climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 03:50pm PT
Just so.

Speculations as to whether X will or not do Y are offensive and an invasion of another's privacy. An invasion to which any direct response only gives traction. The invaders are not always but they are on occasion driven by simple self-interest.

Objectionable.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Mar 22, 2010 - 03:56pm PT
Hehe, I'm still not buying it. But OK bro!

DMT
jstan

climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 04:00pm PT
Think about it, Dingus. You are not this type. I'm quite sure of that.
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Mar 22, 2010 - 04:16pm PT
What you wrote makes good sense, John. It IS an invasion, and one must carefully consider all potential underlying motives to allow a fair and balanced perspective.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Mar 22, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
A person stands on the edge of a high building and threatens to jump.

A crowd gathers.

Some people shout 'don't do it!'

Others shout "JUMP!"

The would-be jumper, jumps and craters right there in front of the crowd.

Do the ones who hollered 'JUMP!' bear some responsibility?

Do the ones who hollered 'don't do it' also bear some responsibility?

What about the ones who just stood there, said nothing, and just watched? Responsible too?

The very presence of the crowd... the crowd itself, the 'audience' is responsible for the performers who seek them out?

What if no one at all paid any attention at all to our would be jumper?

Asking climbers to have no thoughts whatsoever, about a guy like Honnold is like asking that crowd to pay no attention to the jumper... not gonna happen, despite all the good intentions in the world.

DMT
jstan

climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 04:56pm PT
It all comes down to this.



Do we control ourselves?

Or do we not?

If we do not, who is in control?
aaronjones

Social climber
ditch
Mar 22, 2010 - 05:27pm PT
still tards
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 22, 2010 - 06:14pm PT
What about the hobo?
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 22, 2010 - 06:53pm PT
mr jones,
no one here is a tard. you are mistaken.
you are simply looking for a cheap thrill
by getting a rise out of fellow climbers
whom are interested in the directions
that our common pastime is changing.

there folks.
that little fire is extinguished.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2010 - 08:47pm PT
Well, one of my screen nicknames, though seldom used, IS Tardy.
Never hurts to be right.

Anyhow,
Has the other shoe dropped yet?
I can see it now:

"say, hey there mates ... this is Mick from UK climbing.com"
About that OP, we trolled you yanks pretty good this time...
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 22, 2010 - 09:46pm PT
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Aaron's opinion. The dude knows more about hangin it out there, and climbing for a living, then most of us...excluding Werner. Which I believe is exactly what he is getting at in not so many words.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Mar 22, 2010 - 09:52pm PT
Alex is a rad dude.

In the middle of signing God knows how many posters, he stopped and talked to my Mom for fifteen minutes. She went alone to the red rock rendesvou to take some clinics and Alex took time out to tell her that he is really enjoying introducing HIS family to climbing.

Its a funny thing, but you can tell the true character of someone by how they treat people they have no reason to be nice to. The Hubers also had a beer with granny.

I never met Alex, but he is rad in my book. And I was in Zion when he soloed Moonlight. It was weird, you could FEEL it in camp - something was going on. Hard to exlpain.



And a big shout out to the man, Aaron Jones! What you been up to dude?? I had a blast reading your trip report last year about all those walls. Keep us posted brudda.
WBraun

climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 09:53pm PT
" .... who is in control?"

We only have partial control ever.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 23, 2010 - 06:57am PT
Morning Tar (no "d" for me),

I don't think Ed intended his thread to be a troll, but the subject, his writing style, and his silence so far are as good as trolling gets.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 23, 2010 - 07:10am PT
Of course he didn't.
I was just goofing off (but you knew that too).
And you're quite right on the second part!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 23, 2010 - 08:49am PT
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Aaron's opinion. The dude knows more about hangin it out there, and climbing for a living, then most of us...excluding Werner. Which I believe is exactly what he is getting at in not so many words.


How would we know any of that with such an unintelligent post?
Beside that, many of us know plenty about "hangin it out there."
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 23, 2010 - 09:30am PT
Well I guess you'd have to know Arron.
squatch

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
Mar 23, 2010 - 07:03pm PT
Credit: squatch
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Mar 23, 2010 - 07:21pm PT
i consider my fate very time i climb. i re-evaluated my presence after the loss of my possessions resulting from a regional fire storm. "i" am here momentarily. let me set the tone and tenor of my existence as i see fit, without influence of yours.
brett

climber
oregon
Mar 24, 2010 - 03:25pm PT
I'd venture that a free solo of the Nose is out of the question, at least for several generations.

The leap from Astroman to RNWF Half Dome took 20+ years and the leap from there to the Nose is considerably wider.

It is all but impossible to be solid on the Nose in the same way climbers were solid on Astroman even 25 years ago
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 24, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
"You live by the sword, you die by the sword." Of course, the swordsman keep getting better.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 24, 2010 - 06:28pm PT
Tell it Jim!
Straight, no chaser.
Elegant too.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 24, 2010 - 06:51pm PT
"We are nothing without the work of others our predecessors, others our teachers, others our contemporaries. Even when, in the measure of our inadequacy and our fullness, new insight and new order are created, we are still nothing without others.

Yet we are more."

J. Robert Oppenheimer, Reith Lecture, December 20, 1953
Prod

Trad climber
Dodge Sprinter Dreaming
Mar 24, 2010 - 07:15pm PT
Tar wrote.

Tell it Jim!
Straight, no chaser.
Elegant too.

About...

"You live by the sword, you die by the sword." Of course, the swordsman keep getting better.

Isn't this a chaser?

Of course, the swordsman keep getting better.

Prod.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Mar 24, 2010 - 07:18pm PT
Inspiration and warning, one word . . .


ICARUS
pa

climber
Mar 24, 2010 - 07:46pm PT
Beautiful quote, Mr. Hartouni. Thank you.

Reminds me of the greek methaphysical notion that "we are what we are because of what we can become".
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 24, 2010 - 07:49pm PT
If you must, "Prod".
Jeebus.

Signed,
Your "Other"
WBraun

climber
Mar 24, 2010 - 07:59pm PT
This guy .... Ed. Drummond?

Where the fuk did he go?

Hey man get your ass back in this thread and say something ......
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 24, 2010 - 08:11pm PT
No doubt Werner, that's what I was thinking.

Maybe he's just a pot stirrer...sp?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Mar 24, 2010 - 08:20pm PT
Let us not forget, the downfall of the Samurai was gunpowder.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Mar 24, 2010 - 09:00pm PT
supertopo trolled by Ed Drummond ? weird ....
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Mar 24, 2010 - 09:03pm PT
Trolled by.............................................?
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 24, 2010 - 09:07pm PT
If the kid can hack it, only he knows.

While we're arguing, some crazy drunk Euro will probably come over and send the freerider naked and barefoot, or maybe with just some old inner tubes wrapped around his feet for "superior friction capabilities."
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Mar 24, 2010 - 09:28pm PT
We are the peanut gallery!

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 24, 2010 - 09:39pm PT
Peanuts, mix'd nuts, & tards.
Now just placeholdin' for Edwin's Drummins.

C'mon Ed D.
Chime in before Pate hacks your avatar for some crowd pleasin' follow up.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Just me and three kids
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:13am PT
I happened to see the film of Alex soloing Moonlight Buttress and HD last night.

My tiny, small tard brain is still processing. Meltdown may be imminent (but that may just be caused by my kids).

Lots to think about here on this particular campfire.

Eric
Randisi

Boulder climber
PA
Mar 25, 2010 - 07:09am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1125613&msg=1125613#msg1125613

He's coming. Give him time. Poetry must be meditated.
mt10910

climber
Mar 25, 2010 - 07:34am PT
If the swordsman are getting better, and the quote,
live by the sword die by the sword is true,
then it follows
more swordsman will die...at younger ages
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Mar 25, 2010 - 07:41am PT
I just watched the Seven Samauri.

There are fewer swordsmen than ever.

DMT
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 25, 2010 - 08:49am PT
What makes you guys so sure the OP is really Ed Drummond?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 25, 2010 - 08:53am PT
Valid question, but I can answer: it is Ed. Both posts. He has taken the plunge; now he is working on how he wants to proceed.

I think he should come up with a six word response to all the posts on this thread.
Edwin Drummond

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 26, 2010 - 08:08am PT
A Homage to Alex Honnold


It appears to me that Alex, the morning star of the en-dangerists, the harms way film makers, equipment sponsors and magazine under-writers, is, perhaps pre-consciously, allowing himself to become their puppet. That commercial strand of disconnect in our common, climbing culture, the hypermedia, by focusing upon the exponents of extreme, over-exposed, un-roped, solo rock climbing as representing the true summit of climbing ability and achievement, is misleading. For many, if not most of us who came to climbing in the bold days when there were no sticky boots, cams, or harnesses, only a few budding nuts, climbing was, at first, a dream, a waking dream that we experienced in broad daylight, an effortless pleasure, a way of making love with our mother, Nature. And though, slowly, but inexorably, we came to, had children, spouses, houses, divorces, and grew heavier, most of us on the rocks managed to avoid killing ourselves; for one good reason... Not so the un-roped soloists.

Since late last year, after thinking about the issue for several months following my first viewing of Alex’s film, at the Reel Rock Climbing Festival presentation in San Francisco, recently, after seeing the film for a second time I felt an un-ignorable surge of concern, which, I decided, I needed to share with him. So, not knowing him personally, but publically – by invitation as it were through his film and an article or two, I wrote.

“And, you know what Alex? To be brutally honest I hoped to terrify you. Let’s ignore momentarily the distinction between private, unpublished, solo, un-roped climbing such as it appears Peter Croft committed on Astroman, and roped, protected climbing with a partner, the sum of which is always greater than the parts we play along with when alone, and concentrate upon what appears to be the case with your filmed ascent. From what one of the posters writes, apparently, at the monthly R.I.M. club meeting in Santa Rosa, in, I believe, October 2009, you admitted to staging a personal crisis on the Thank God traverse. If this is true, that you misrepresented yourself in order to dramatize and manipulate affect in the viewer, clearly one is entitled to wonder just how much ‘scripting’ (i.e. assistance from the film team) of your allegedly free solo took place. What, for example, was the reason they apparently didn’t film you on the hardest pitch, the exit bolted slab that you almost fell apart on as you described in a later article? Perhaps you can inform us. Further more I find it hard to accept that you climbed the entire N.W. face of Half Dome without any water, food, or rehearsal, which is what the documentary would seem to imply. Now, if you had, first of all, before the film climbed the face alone with no personal nourishment or previous experience of it, then, I have to say, it truly saddens me that you would hold yourself, your life, with all its bright promise, so cheaply: rock breaks, as do nerves. And then again, if you had in fact climbed the entire route previously in such a naked state in order to repeat it in whole or part for money and (fleeting) fame, is surely tempting fate.”

“Look down Alex…at your belly. See that knot? That tells it as it is. That’s how we come to this world: umbilicusly, tied in, connected. Climbing, and pretty much everything humans do in the name of life depends upon recovering contact, connect, ‘the touch of warm rock to the hand’ as Robbins says, (and, I would add, commonsense). Ignoring that connection – because it cannot be seen optically – by soloing at the edge of sanity endangers everyone, not just you. Whether it’s the Nose, Free Rider, or that slickest of routes, Whatever, doesn’t matter. We are human, and – unless we’ve automatonized by overdosing on adrenalin through repeated exposures to high risk – do feel fear, do need to love, be loved, and to work.”

“Up-scaling un-roped solo climbing at the hardest and most marginal levels as being the highest achievement in climbing would seem to me to be, as someone has posted, regressive. And I would add repressive. It is always grounded upon prior knowledge/information and learning/experience (praxis). As such it steps back into the past, memory, muscle memory and the mastery of mind control of emotional (often childhood) trauma, not forward – thanks to the rope – into that real creativity that can always, relatively safely, risk a fall. That kind of Keatsian awareness, negative capability, that un-certain, querky, quarkian consciousness resides I believe at the site of all genuine creation, including climbing a new, unknown route, on sight, though not a previously climbed one that any such knowing, and subsequently unroped climber might attempt. However, that kind of climbing – of an unknown, unclimbed new line – is a kind of climbing that likely no one who is alive can tell us about, and is one which, in my opinion far surpasses in danger, difficulty and creativity the levels discussed so far. Were anyone of as great ability as you Alex possess to attempt to do so, isn’t it at least conceivable that their parent(s?) or the NPS, would consider having them restrained as suicidal?”

“Imagine: An unclimbed cliff of soaring, sheerest aspect, one perhaps recently stumbled upon in, let’s say deepest China. You decide to try it. Call it The Great – est – Wall... Twice El Cap high, perfect granite, with intermittent cracks and corners, wrinkled faces, and sweeping slabs that steepen into arches and separate reality overhangs; a mild 5.12 at most! – as far as you can see. And there appear to be shallow, silver pools that have gathered from run-off on large ledges, reminiscent of Royal Arches, one or two every thousand feet or so, and palm trees laden with clusters of dates, and bird-size butterflies that brush your face as you gaze upwards. The temperature is like an Indian summer-September in the Valley. This is it. Paradise. Clad in shorts, tee shirt, sun cap, and the new super stickies – Yo ho ho! – off you went, alone, un-roped, no gear except for your supplicant chalk bag, and an insupportably beautiful new route that you know nothing about; all yours for the (s)ending, and in camera! Now, tell me you wouldn’t do it… Would you? But just imagine doing all that with a mate, a wonderful friend, someone you trust and love, someone to share leads, and nights with. Heaven on Earth, that would be something to write home about!” (‘If you’d had a home. If you’d had a Dad… If you hadn’t slipped.’)

“You do, in our hearts. Maybe you can find him…

You write the ending.”

Ed. Drummond
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
Mar 26, 2010 - 08:24am PT
A few points of clarification.
RNWF and Moonlight were both rehersed. Both were climbed first without documentation, then reenacted for the cameras. Croft reenacted Astroman for the cameras, it's one of my favorite shots.
Alex climbs on a rope. Alex climbs hard FAs on a rope. Alex climbs hard FAs on a rope in uncharted tropical wonderlands.


Alex lives in the back of a van.
WBraun

climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 09:12am PT
"The temperature is like an Indian summer-September in the Valley. This is it. Paradise."


You're wrong, it's far from paradise >>> it is hell itself. (shocking statement)

If you really knew what real paradise is ......

Also the whole assumption of your ideas reek of fatalism, nihilism, and voidism as this life is all in all and nothing further beyond the death of the individual gross physical body.

You think the individual is the body. The driver of the vehicle is not the vehicle/body.

You are seeped in gross physical materialism speculating it is all in all .......
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 26, 2010 - 09:17am PT
There is just one thing certain.....
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 26, 2010 - 09:23am PT
ed,
i appreciate your your creative efforts.
i appreciate your depth as a climber, and the perspective that you have earned.
i appreciate your kind sentiment, and the grace in your expression.
i appreciate you taking the time to share your heart's yearnings.

it can be a tough crowd. though most wield a soft hued heart.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Mar 26, 2010 - 09:24am PT
Lambone:
What makes you guys so sure the OP is really Ed Drummond?





Lets see:




Dense prose.
Check.




Vast distances between periods.
Check.




Obvious dislike or distrust of single syllable words,
Check




Never before encountered word usages like "automatonized", "praxis" and "umbilicusly"
Check.



Bizarre combinations of obscure references that may or may not be meaningful, like "Keatsian awareness", "querky, quarkian consciousness " and "commercial strand of disconnect".
Check.









Ok, ID quantified and 99.75 percent certain.





It's Ed Drummond all right. Who else could it be? The most modern of babble generators are completely insufficient at this time to duplicate such an effort. Out of their league entirely.
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 10:03am PT
as always. . . .clueless. . .
aaronjones

Social climber
ditch
Mar 26, 2010 - 10:31am PT
ed drummond=supertard
Ian Jewell

climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 10:33am PT
i cant stop thinking about the hobo and his dickcheese.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Mar 26, 2010 - 10:51am PT
Ian and everyone else should just go rent "Tropic Thunder". You won't recognize Tom Cruise until it's too late and he utters that line......the hobos dickcheese thing. "Now literally, step away from the computer AND F*#K YOUR OWN FACE!!!!". More Tom Cruise.

Caylor
tarek

climber
berkeley
Mar 26, 2010 - 11:03am PT
tastes in writing shore do vary...

to me, the flaw in ED's take on this (and his take swells with hubris born of excess groupie praise and real risk-taking long past its expiration date - in my opinion) is the idea that one's intentions matter most of the time at the gross level of chosing the moment when we exit this place.

can't remember his name, but there was a guy who'd trekked all over the Himalaya, came home to Berkeley, decided to get a vasectomy, walked out of the doc's office onto the street, fainted and hit his head on a concrete planter. Dead.

ED should have written that guy a letter.

Lots of climbers dead on 4th class terrain, vehicle accidents, etc. Or, what could be more dangerous that high-level mountaineering?

In fact, if he's so determined to save the lives of people who hang it out, he should try basejumpers first. My buddies who do it tell me that super-experts die regularly in Europe. Or write to that dude who wants to be the first to land a jump with only a wingsuit. That guy has had way more publicity than Honnold.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Mar 26, 2010 - 11:15am PT
Seems more like the issue is not free soloing per se, it's doing it with the overriding goal of turning it into climbing porn.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Mar 26, 2010 - 11:17am PT
he had a rope on for that stuff lambone recounted. So why didn't ED write about his roped climbing? Speculation: b/c this is an exercise in more public drama creation for a writer who, like all writers, is cultivating an audience (nuthin' wrong with that). Coulda written a thoughtful general essay, as several have mentioned, though.

You don't think it's arrogant for ED to think that he could scare AH with words, after all of the stuff he's done??
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Mar 26, 2010 - 11:23am PT
Once it gets romanticized as a film, the influence on those inclined to copy the style is not to be under-estimated. I have BITD, watched a number of guys free-solo some scary stuff. I have even done some. But never have I encouraged it.

Its a different matter to publicize it.



Doesn't he bear some responsibility to the audience of the video?





pa

climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 12:02pm PT
What Werner said.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Mar 26, 2010 - 12:03pm PT
Radical,

Yeah, it's all math, I agree. Try multiplying all of the major probabilities...then try multiplying all of their interaction terms, then their bundled interaction terms. But, as you say, it's also a matter of paying attention, something that soloists do extremely well, as a rule.

We've all been in "situations," with a rope where it was basically unplanned soloing. A friend of mine died when rock broke on easy ground and he was way run-out.

The reason I'll stop writing now is that I'm just contributing to the OP's show, and my opinion is that his writing here is lousy, and his motivations stink. But I agree that the issues are worth thinking about.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 26, 2010 - 12:08pm PT
Alternate introductions and voiceovers:

Alex: “Hi. I’m Alex Honnold. I am a pretty regular guy who has excelled at rock climbing. I do it because I love it. I love it for the same reasons that all rockclimbers love their sport. This film is not about why rock climbers climb, or why it so much fun, or about technique. It is about me providing you with the entertainment of watching me climb without a rope. Don’t worry; I don’t fall in the movie. I made this introduction afterward.”

Announcer: “Rock climbing requires strength and flexibility and loads of specialized technique, acquired through lots of practice. Roped climbing can be very dangerous. To push yourself physically, you have to control your mind and your fears. Both skills are necessary. Free soloing is a way to test that your mind is completely in control, and when your mind is in control, free soloing is safe. Many more accidents have occurred with roped climbing than with free soloing. Climbing without a rope is a way to reduce the chances of falling, to make climbing very safe. When you climb with a rope, your mind is tricked into thinking that climbing is dangerous; when you take the rope away, your mind is forced to accept that climbing is safe.”

Artful shots of Alex walking to base. Cut away to Alex way off the ground, hands and toes barely touching the rock.

Alex: “You can just get the tips of two fingers in; just a little skin is touching the rock. Your feet are pasted to the smooth wall. About as exposed as you can be.”

Voice over: “Alex has climbed this route before. He knows exactly where to place his hands and feet. He has tested the rock for soundness. He feels very comfortable with the idea that he can make all the moves without slipping to his death. Don’t worry; he won’t fall off in this movie.”

Alex: “Free soloing of the kind I do for these videos is a kind of pure entertainment. Climbing has many aspects, figuring out how to get up really hard moves, learning to fall on to a rope so you don’t get hurt, telling your friends about how cool it was, getting into a physical or mental zone that just makes you feel alive. All of these aspects are part of what I do before I free solo for the camera. In a sense, the climbing is completely done by the time I feel comfortable enough to free solo a route. Sort of like…well I don’t know quite what it is like as compared to ordinary activity. Maybe like reenacting a winning touchdown without any defensive players around. Or dry-humping the pillow after she has left.”

Voice over: “Alex is not going to fall. This is entertainment. Oh, and don’t try this at home.”

Cut away to handwringing old dudes, with vaguely familiar faces and stances that probably once looked substantial.

Old dude One: “I don’t see the point. He has already climbed the route a dozen times. He knows every move. Where is the adventure in that? Royal and Yvon told us to go for adventure; to go for uncertainty.”

Old dude Two (Northern Italian accent): “He is murdering the impossible.”

Old dude Three (Moral accent):” He is selling out. Making climbing porn for plastic pulling wankers.”

Old dude Four (Greek accent): “Come my friends, we must all die. Why moan about it so.”

Old dude Five (SuperTopo accent): “What difference does it make? The human body is a false promise. Life is illusion. Does a falling climber make a sound if no one hears it?”


Cut away to Alex smoothly moving up the rock.

Voice over: “Don’t worry folks, Alex is not going to fall. Free soloing is completely safe.”

Cutaway to twentysomethings, reacting to old dudes:

TST One (TST accent): “Tards.”

TST Two (TST accent): “Super-tards.”

TST Three (TST accent): “Alex knows what he is doing. He has been up there before. Knows the moves cold. He’s not going to fall.”

TST One (TST accent): “Tards.”

TST Two (TST accent): “kkheej kjjheej. Supter-tards”

TST Four (SuperTopo Ascent): “It is just about the moment. The entertainment value. What’s the big deal? Alex can do what he wants.”

TST Five (TST accent): “Smoke a phat one.”

TST One (TST accent): “Tards.”

Cut away to Alex in the same crack. Ground much farther away. Moving smoothly. Looks bored.

Vague off-mike sounds:

Voice one (Suit accent): “This is boring.”

Voice two (Suit accent): “Tell me about it. Who will watch this? Everyone knows he is going to make it. It's just like math. You plug the numbers into a formula and out pops the move.”

Voice three (Suit accent): “That’s it. Wrap it up.

Voice one (Suit accent): "Whaaaat?"

Voice three (Suit accent): "Next time he does it adventure style.”

Voice two (Suit accent): ”You mean sight-unseen?”

Voice three (Suit accent): “That right. We have to restore risk and uncertainty into climbing. No one will watch this façade. Free soloing is completely safe. He never falls.”

Fade to old dude:

WBraun

climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 12:37pm PT
Roger

So hilariously funny.

Tell us what you really think , aside from playing the safe card in your above post.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 26, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
Tards....HA!
Chris Wegener

Trad climber
St. John, Virgin Islands
Mar 26, 2010 - 02:23pm PT
As mentioned, very interesting and entertaining.

Having just seen the discussed videos, I was completely blown away by Alex's performance. I can't even dream of being able to climb like that.

Absolutely, Alex will do what Alex wants. Its freewill.

Many people are missing Ed's main point. No matter what Alex free solos in the end it will pale in significance to the time he spends with his partner, his children, his friends. As one gets older surprisingly each day becomes more precious and life more important.

Dying for a climb, no matter how amazing, snuffs out any chance to experience the future. This reality is often lost on the young.

I have made many mistakes in my life. I have often wondered if there was anything someone could have said to me to make me realize that I was going to make a mistake and let me change my mind. The only answer I can come to is NO. I would not have listened and would not have heard what was being said. I know this because people who loved me did indeed tell me that there were better choices I could make.

I suspect that this reality is true for most of us. So I wish Alex a long and happy life, whatever he may choose to do.

Regards,
Chris
Randisi

Boulder climber
PA
Mar 27, 2010 - 05:30am PT
At the risk of tard-iness:

Roger, that was laugh-out-loud funny!

Not to mention a great satire of the issues.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Just me and three kids
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:27am PT
Brilliant Roger! Thanks.

I think what interesting here is not so much what Ed chose to put "out there," but what it reveals about others' reactions to it (not a lot gets revealed sometimes). For any creation such as painting, sculpture, novels, essays, poetry, kid's doodlings, Tami's drawings, or Locker's, Peter's and Cosmic's photo transformations, etc. there can be two elements.

There is the creator. They do what they do and their reason, if known to anyone, lies with themselves (and sometimes that is not even clear).

Then you add the observer of the art/expression and the observer's reaction. The latter half is a making entirely of the observer.

A stimulating thread, even the tard parts!

To me (and that's all) Ed's writing is like a deep, rich, heavy and complex port. Can't chuck gallons of the stuff at one sitting. But a small glass, slowly sipped, is a delight. Not everyone likes port.

Happy Saturday!
Eric
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:30am PT
Wow Rodger, that's some corney-ass stuff. . .
mt10910

climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:56am PT
does anyone miss the irony:
If Ed hadn't once climbed hard and told folks about how he climbed hard/dangerous,
many folks would dismiss anything he said simply because of his lack of known "big ticks."
So Ed gets to "earn" his desire for a audience, but Alex doesn't?

I of course still think a true solo is the one you don't tell anyone about.
ll

Gym climber
sacramento, ca
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:00am PT
From my recollection sometime around the middle of July 2004 Alex's climbing really took off, his interest in the outdoors and his on-sight soloing really came to the forefront of his life.

I have always wondered what caused him to so dramatically change his attitude and his climbing.

~lisa l
jstan

climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:05am PT
This thread and our willingness to intrude is not our highest moment.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:18am PT
I'm inclined to agree with that John.
A tall tree however, does tend to acquire wind.

A lot of this is about media exposure, how it is engaged, how we respond.
I don't have a particular attitude toward it; it happens, I say let it play out (engagement of media with our sport, and vice versa, in the big picture), that's what will happen regardless. Certainly can't see it as entirely negative.


As a sport we're still in the infantile stages of media management, such as it is. Probably always a somewhat messy proposition.
MH2

climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 05:02pm PT
This thread and our willingness to intrude is not our highest moment.

Is there a plot of this somewhere?
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:09pm PT
acquire wind? sounds more like you're passing wind. . .
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:42pm PT
Nice jab Dean.
What else is on your mind?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Mar 28, 2010 - 08:15am PT
Ed,

Thanks for your “telegram”, and for initiating one of the better threads in a long time. I met you in Camp 4 long ago and I’m glad you have joined the discussion here.

I disagree with the somewhat hectoring tone of your piece and here’s why.

You have raised what I call the “hero/chump” false dichotomy. Whenever someone dies attempting a climb that is highly risky and succeeds, he or she is considered a hero in the community. But when these heroes miscalculate or “objective” dangers take them, the tendency is to consider them no longer heroes, but chumps, that is, idiots, for losing their lives. I reject this formula.

Whoever tries to solo El Cap would still be a hero, and not a chump as you seem to imply, even if he or she dies trying. It is incredible to think that El Cap was first climbed in 1958 and that someone, whether it is Honnold or someone else, will be able climb it without a rope in the next few years. From being considered an impossible cliff to climb by any means prior to 1958, El Cap will soon be ascended with just shoes and a chalk bag. That is an astounding progression. Who among us is so old or so unimaginative that we haven’t dreamt of having the ability and the courage to solo El Cap?

I do agree with your point that one should not be goaded into soloing for the wrong reasons, that is, to meet the expectations of others. John Long wrote the definitive piece on this subject in “The Only Blasphemy”, a tale most recently retold in the new Stonemaster book. You probably remember it from “Mirrors in the Cliffs:” the story of Long and Bachar soloing route after route in Joshua Tree. It connects forward to Honnold in that Bachar and Long were attempting a “Half Dome” day of soloing, i.e, 2000 feet of unroped climbing, simulating the length of the Northwest Face of Half Dome. At the end of the day, Bachar soloes the 5.11, Left Ski Track, in plain view of Hidden Valley campground and Long describes how he felt the pressure of even a small audience..

“50 hungry eyes gave me the once over, as if to say, Well?”

This pressure almost caused John’s demise and it is a cautionary tale. When El Cap is soloed, my hope is that it will be for a reason other than the virtual applause of millions of “hungry eyes” in the Youtube audience. But I will join in admiring the feat when it is accomplished, regardless of the soloist’s reasons for venturing up there, and I would never presume to tell a brilliant climber to give up his dreams, whether they be a solo of El Cap or the first ascent of the Troll Wall.

Rick
Randisi

Boulder climber
PA
Mar 28, 2010 - 08:26am PT
The Regular Route of Half Dome has many pitches of fairly easy climbing and a relatively small percentage of hard pitches. What is the break-down of 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, etc. on Freerider?

It must be significantly more intense. I think it will be a good while (if ever) before someone seriously attempts such a thing.


All this raises some new (or maybe not) ethical questions:

Is a person truly free soloing if a camera crew is near enough by to help him/her out should they get 'gripped'? (It's a shame this descriptive term has fallen into disuse) Sure their life is still at stake but help is not too far.

Would a person still truly be free soloing if they tie in to bivvy? Or if someone else caches the food and water for the attempt?

(Don't get me wrong. I'm not implying that it wouldn't still be an astoundingly impressive achievement even were these means to be used.)
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 28, 2010 - 08:41am PT
Randisi,

I agree. Someone earlier made reference to the camera crew being "the backup party"

Rick, that was a great post.

I have slowly been changing my mind about this, a bit at least.
My initial thought was how wrong it would be to do this for the media, sponsors, money etc. And I still feel that way about those specific points.

But the thought of someone doing it is sure impressive.

As I age I appreciate the rope more and the protection closer!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 28, 2010 - 09:39am PT
I think it will be a good while (if ever) before someone seriously attempts such a thing.

Hans-Jorg Auer already soloed the Fish, the 5.12 classic on the South Face of the Marmolada. Not quite as long as Freerider, but a more alpine setting. Lots of very hard, difficult work on slabs with highly inobvious routefinding that often gets experienced parties into trouble.

mt10910

climber
Mar 28, 2010 - 09:52am PT
jump jump jump

you'll be a hero

you'll be a Martyr

your mom will be so proud
Randisi

Boulder climber
PA
Mar 28, 2010 - 09:55am PT



I think it will be a good while (if ever) before someone seriously attempts such a thing.

Hans-Jorg Auer already soloed the Fish, the 5.12 classic on the South Face of the Marmolada. Not quite as long as Freerider, but a more alpine setting. Lots of very hard, difficult work on slabs with highly inobvious routefinding that often gets experienced parties into trouble.


Okay, klk. I'll rephrase that:

I think it will be a good while (if ever) before my feeble mind can comprehend that someone would seriously attempt such a thing!

iep

climber
Mar 28, 2010 - 10:04am PT
Hans-Jorg Auer already soloed the Fish, the 5.12 classic on the South Face of the Marmolada. Not quite as long as Freerider, but a more alpine setting. Lots of very hard, difficult work on slabs with highly inobvious routefinding that often gets experienced parties into trouble.

the fish route that Auer soloed is 850m / 2800 feet long, 37 pitches -- about as long as freerider.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 28, 2010 - 10:42am PT
Some people climb "Because its there." I say as climbers we give Alex the benefit of that line of reasoning, and give our encouragement and support to such a gifted climber in whatever endeavor he embarks upon with out the negativity or BS.

mt10910

climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 08:24am PT
jump
bump
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Apr 8, 2010 - 07:25pm PT
Honnold himself sez this about soloing freerider

http://outside.away.com/outside/culture/200905/el-capitan-no-ropes.html
"If I consider it, it's hopefully not going to be an attempt," Honnold says of El Cap. "Of course I've thought about it, but I'm not anywhere close [to being ready]."
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Apr 8, 2010 - 07:42pm PT
I saw Alex unroped up on Half Dome last Friday when the Banff Film Festivel came to Bishop. It's been a long time since watching someone climb gave me the creeps like this did.

The doubters might ponder the following:

"And don't criticize what you can't understand." - Bob Dylan
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 8, 2010 - 07:53pm PT
Liking Eric Beck’s (old friend) comment just above.

As a soloist, you are completely on your own calendar. Especially if others aren’t keeping track of your every move as some are with Alex. When someone starts writing poetry about your theoretical and vastly hideous demise on a route you don’t even plan to unrope ever, it surely doesn’t have a place in your worldview and such a purview (Ed's) is actually creepier than the horror of watching you unroped 1,000 feet out. You climb, you are in your hay-days of youth with no dependents and at the opening of your adult life, you truly truly know what you are doing and at times just go out and express yourself in these pieces of great virtuosity with the angels.


jghedge

climber
Apr 8, 2010 - 08:48pm PT
Honnold did a 14c yesterday and redpoints 14 pretty regularly.

Think how solid you were in your prime, taco-standers, 3 number grades below your limit.

A lot of you were solid 11 climbers BITD - was 5.8 ropeless that big of a deal? I should hope not...
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Apr 9, 2010 - 12:45am PT
"Be safe," the kiss of death? Excellent poem, but a tough mark. I'm with PH: in the abstract it could have been not so personal and as powerful as velvet.
jstan

climber
Apr 9, 2010 - 04:19am PT
Mr. Drummond has manipulated us, egregiously.

But I suppose embarassment is a small price to pay for something like Roger's superb Monty Python bit.

It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 9, 2010 - 05:01am PT
Yeah, Joe... I wonder. Does the whole arrangement just ratchet up several notches, all things seeming the same --- 5.11 is the new 5.8??---or is there something much wilder going on, when the top grade goes from 5.11 to 5.15? It is hard to believe that 5.11 could seem like the 5.8 of 1972, but then again if you have watched 5.11 being dispatched by top climbers today, it really does look like the person is doing 5.8!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 9, 2010 - 05:04am PT
wind is ill when it is still.
movement ignites search which leads to change,
and growth prevails.

for the youth not to stretch upheld and stagnant standards according to his neon dreams, a surrender to complacency must take place.

"stand still alex. curb your dreams. betray your path because of my fears."

pooey. let thrive that boy.
donh

Social climber
los angeles,ca
Jun 3, 2011 - 05:14pm PT
hi ed


i was thinking about your epic 'first ascent' of the statue of liberty.

did you summit? and if so, who topped out first you or stephen?

rip: Elmer 'Geronimo' Pratt

thanks
don
throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 3, 2011 - 05:24pm PT
Find an old copy of I can't remember which issue of Ascent and read "Mirror Mirror" by Mr. Drummond. Fantastic stuff. i don't feel his comments were out of line...seemed like good advice to me. But Alex is the master of his own ship, sailing on an ocean I can't fathom.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jun 3, 2011 - 05:37pm PT
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 20, 2014 - 03:47am PT
Well, it's-been-three-years-and-he-still-hasn't-soloed-El-Cap bump.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 20, 2014 - 06:58am PT
Said upthread:
"There are two kinds of climbers, BOLD climbers or OLD climbers, not both."

I disagree as I see plenty of both still around. The list of old bold climbers would be very long. A few have posted upthread, some don't even speak english, plenty of Euros who would fill the bill of being old and bold. What is old anyway? Is Peter Croft old yet at mid 50's+ or so?



(ps, way to stir up a shitstorm again Randisis LOL)



Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Jan 20, 2014 - 07:33am PT
I know what kind of free-solo underwear he wears!

:D

DMT
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Jan 20, 2014 - 09:55am PT
These "telegrams" make no sense...why try to poison someone's experience, plant a seed of doubt into their soul, while it all kind of sounds like plain envy. I'm sure Mr. Honnold is intelligent enough to evaluate the risks and benefits for himself. And what's with that "She will find you" nonsense?...poor chap climbs cause some sorority girl rejected him?? Allright, I'm scared for Cirque du Soleil artists now...gonna write some letters.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Jan 20, 2014 - 09:58am PT
BTW, is it still possible to send a telegram these days, one that's not delivered by a stripper?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:01am PT
No Dave, not at all, but there is the option of gender, finally.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:02am PT
^3 options for that one, actually
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:08am PT
Like it or not, ill bet that OP is something we all THINK down deep.

We have all lost great friends in this pursuit. Facts hard to ignore fully. I pray AH has a long and fruitful life. Hes a natural climber- a club of few. But in that club comes very high odds.
rSin

Trad climber
calif
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:24am PT
strippers deliver?!?!?!
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:36am PT
Writing a manifesto is a bit excessive, IMHO.

Worrying about another human being is in our nature.

While I am in awe hearing about Honnold's solos, I can't help the unpleasant feeling in my stomach. Maybe because I have too much imagination. Or I am afraid to solo myself. I don't know. It is not because I envy him, though.

I wouldn't try to convince him to stop. He is a smart guy and knows the risks better than me. Hell, I took grave risks in my life because of the lack of experience. That for sure is not the case here.

Long live Honnold, use your brain and don't listen to our speculations.

Andrzej
go-B

climber
Romans 5:8
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:40am PT
All I got to say is, "TENSION"!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:44am PT
Dano sometimes thought he should slow down, and that included the last week of his life. He had fully admitted he was "pushing his angels". The week before he died, he called me and wanted to start hunting again - and wanted to arrange a turkey hunt. Years before his death i told him i was worried id wake up someday with his name in the headlines and not in a good way. But for that one last jump...

So there is real reason for concern of these natural born climbers. Yet they also demonstrate a purity within our lil game that cant be surpassed.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:50am PT
As an acquaintance of Alex I know him a little and I doubt he will ever read this thread. He is better than most about not wasting time looking at screens.

I don't blame people for throwing out warnings, I think it's good for people to speak their mind and share their experience. And I think the message stands repeating because it's easy to get caught up in things and get carried away and do something you shouldn't do.

However Alex has an excellent grasp of what he is doing and a great head on his shoulders. I doubt he'd do something he wouldn't do if the cameras weren't rolling.

It will be interesting to see where his climbing career goes. He has huge talent, motivation, and is very smart. The big free solos naturally are limited in number. It's wasn't surprising in a way that one of his next huge accomplishments was the triple crown. Not pure free soloing, but using that talent to pull off the next step in rock climbing. Not surprising that it was his next step, but very surprising that a human could accomplish that. I can't even fathom hiking to the top of those three formations in a day.
Jeff Gorris

climber
Not from, Portlandia
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:57am PT

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/honnold-free-solos-el-sendero-luminoso-5-12d
FTOR

Sport climber
CA
Jan 20, 2014 - 11:03am PT
when i was soloing a lot there was always this feeling of invincibility. i could do no wrong. there was also the deep down acceptance that i really didn't care, life or death. i was never in the big leagues of soloing but wouldn't think much of vert mile days, just a chalk bag and shoes. the best climbing of my life.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Jan 20, 2014 - 11:11am PT
this isn't 1885, people dont send telegrams anymore
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