Phoenix

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 121 of total 121 in this topic
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 14, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
Free solo? Yup.

Ken
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 14, 2011 - 01:50pm PT
Tease!

DMT
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2011 - 01:53pm PT
Nope.

Ken
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
Jun 14, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
Proof?
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 14, 2011 - 01:58pm PT
Do tell.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:00pm PT
Bring it!
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:02pm PT
I thought it was a 5.9 so I just sent the damn thing.

Crazy huh?!

;-)


Really Ken? Makes my ballz shrink up just thinking about it!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2011 - 02:25pm PT
It was done yesterday.

Ken
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:27pm PT
Spill it Ken!
eKat

Trad climber
montanahilltophome.com/
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
Yeah, ChickieMan. . . SPILL IT!
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:29pm PT
What SHE SAID!!

(Hey Sweetie!)

Not you Ken! ;-)
Gene

climber
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:29pm PT
Damn it, Ken. I told you not to tell anybody. Sheeeshhh
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:33pm PT
Isn't a phoenix the bird that lives to a certain age, self-immolates, and then rises from its own funeral pyre? Not quite the right connotations for a solo climb, but presumably we'll soon see the video.
eKat

Trad climber
montanahilltophome.com/
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:39pm PT
Hey, JerOfMe!

:-)
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:42pm PT
My, aren't you coy...
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:44pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#206040
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:46pm PT
Somebodies sitting in the catbird seat. heh heh
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2011 - 02:47pm PT
Not much to say. They rapped in and then climbed out. Shouldn't be that hard to figure out who.

Ken
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jun 14, 2011 - 02:52pm PT
Honnold seems like the most likely candidate.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jun 14, 2011 - 03:06pm PT
Wasn't Largo visiting you..
Impaler

Gym climber
Vancouver
Jun 14, 2011 - 03:13pm PT
They? Was it the HonSolo and Stanhope pair? Mason Earle?
rick d

climber
ol pueblo, az
Jun 14, 2011 - 03:41pm PT
it was Illmer

(this guy)
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1528418/Runout-Saxony-1922-pic
WBraun

climber
Jun 14, 2011 - 03:58pm PT
The "Phoenix" free soled?

Now that is radical and insane.

Most people have never tried it to realize how technical those jams at the crux are.
jfailing

Trad climber
Lone Pine
Jun 14, 2011 - 04:08pm PT
Gnarbones.
nature

climber
WTF?
Jun 14, 2011 - 04:17pm PT
Ok ok... I admit....


it was me.


the elbow has been feeling better. what better way than to celebrate by soloing a 5.8d+ off the couch?
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 14, 2011 - 04:22pm PT
Only two people come to mind who are living in a mental universe where this would be conceivable. Long live the bold!
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Jun 14, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
tucker tech
Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jun 14, 2011 - 07:26pm PT
Hondo is a Bad Ass Mutherf*#ker . . . it says so on his wallet.
yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
Jun 14, 2011 - 07:36pm PT
Yawn.

I mean yikes!
john hansen

climber
Jun 14, 2011 - 07:38pm PT
On sight?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2011 - 08:18pm PT
It was Alex. He did it yesterday morning for breakfast.

Ken
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jun 14, 2011 - 08:22pm PT
Filthy.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jun 14, 2011 - 08:29pm PT
and done while a guy who did it many moons ago is rope soloing ZM on El Cap. Seems somehow.....fitting
photo not found
Missing photo ID#206095
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jun 14, 2011 - 08:36pm PT
rapping into solos is the new normal.

that strikes me as a huge deviation. but it's become common. that, rather than the technical difficulty, is what i find remarkable.

i suppose it isn't that far off-- soloing out of aiders seemed psycho to me, but if you really think about it, that's basically what yr doing in a lot of alpine situations. then soloing for cameras. soloing out of raps has become a feature of recent major solos in which folks recreate key pitches for the media-- AR in Verdon, MR on RW, HJA on eP --

a long ways away from older approaches to soloing.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 14, 2011 - 10:37pm PT
interesting and amazing news...
stunning display of mastery and control
simply amazing
MBrown

Big Wall climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 14, 2011 - 11:15pm PT
wow, What a beautiful feat!
Johnny K.

climber
Southern,California
Jun 14, 2011 - 11:48pm PT
That "kid" is beyond "dialed in".Wow.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:50am PT
KLK: "AR in Verdon, MR on RW, HJA on eP"

Cld I gt sm vwls pls?

AR: Alain Robert?
HJA: Auer, eP= the fish route on Marmolada?
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jun 15, 2011 - 06:24am PT
Wow. that's all I got to say about that
Peter

Trad climber
San Francisco
Jun 15, 2011 - 07:21am PT
Astonishing ... and kinda morbid.

I'm leaning toward Drummond's view (http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1122068);. Anyone else concerned about whether Alex will still be with us in 5 years? When cameras, sponsorship and fame are the rewards for risking your life, the end result seems almost inevitable.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Jun 15, 2011 - 07:35am PT
sick!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 15, 2011 - 08:12am PT
Anyone else concerned about whether Alex will still be with us in 5 years? When cameras, sponsorship and fame are the rewards for risking your life, the end result seems almost inevitable.

No, I'm not concerned in the least.

DMT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 15, 2011 - 08:50am PT
If you're solid and you know it

Solo Phoenix

If you're solid and you know it

Solo Phoenix

If you're solid and you know it

Sure that you can hardly blow it

If you're solid and you know it solo Phoenix!

A little ditty that Alex Lowe used to sing with a grin long ago...Dreams are funny that way.

Way beyond impressive...
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 15, 2011 - 09:01am PT
Yesterday it was Chouinard-Herbert. And it was a little bit wet.

Ken
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
Jun 15, 2011 - 09:04am PT
"Young climbers today, who learned the basics in the gym, have no respect and understanding of the history and ethics of the sport." ODB

Hahahahahaha.... Amazing solos Alex. thanks for inspiring me to push harder.

TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Jun 15, 2011 - 09:13am PT
What's even more astounding is watching how viral this news will go.

http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/honnold_free_solos_the_phoenix_513a/
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 15, 2011 - 09:21am PT
Peter in Sf, of course everyone here is concerned, and concerned about each and every one of us. We have discussed this at length already as you do note. Part of what climbing has always meant are these kinds of adventures---- ones where the climber very well might die in the doing and for the slightest of reasons. It is nothing new. Roped or not. Climbing is actually real, you know, and has hideous danger in much of its execution. It may or may not be able to justify it deaths; that is a huge and separate subject.

What you might consider understanding better, is your notion that Alex’s reward for his unroped outings is “cameras, sponsorship, and fame”. It just isn’t. His reward and the result of such radical outings is so far beyond the material realm as to make your query blatantly uninformed, with due respect. When you do climbing like this, the ecstatic and transcendental nature of your outing is ever so much more your focus that suggestions by others that you are up there seeking ordinary gain can only seem to be irrelevant and in fact churlish, even if not intended to be so.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Jun 15, 2011 - 09:24am PT
Good find twisted crank. Nuts that this silly thread with one guy saying he did it (I'm not saying he didn't) is the basis for a newsflash with no follow up.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jun 15, 2011 - 09:28am PT
Peter,
With all due respect he does make a living at this if I am correct so it does
occur to some that if his intentions were absolutely pure and transcendental
would we even know about this? It is amazing though.

But, can he do 9 to 5?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 15, 2011 - 09:34am PT
Mighty Achilles sought fame, glory and profit.

But he fought for the love of it.

DMT
CF

climber
Jun 15, 2011 - 10:46am PT
i saw them from cascade falls area!

looked like some photo/video guys hanging around also
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jun 15, 2011 - 10:54am PT
KLK: "AR in Verdon, MR on RW, HJA on eP"

Cld I gt sm vwls pls?

AR: Alain Robert?
HJA: Auer, eP= the fish route on Marmolada?

yeah, sorry. typing on the mobile encourages bad habits.

Alain Robert in Verdon (can't recall the route name), Michael Reardon on Romantic Warrior and Hans-Joerg Auer on The Fish. Each of those was a major solo that involved rapping in-- MR and HJA to repeat particular pitches just for photographs.
Gene

climber
Jun 15, 2011 - 10:57am PT
From Tom's final El Cap report:

In other news: Well there is some big doings on the Chouinard Hurbert route as Hondo is soloing it for 60 Minutes. Lots of locals are employed and it should be interesting to see what spin the editors put on the event. All the best wishes go out to Alex, one of the really nice guys in the climbing community.


Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 15, 2011 - 10:58am PT
So back when JB was soloing Father Figure and Baby Apes and other things of roughly the same difficulty, were there armchair pearl clutchers like Drummond writing "open" letters pleading for him to stop instead of minding their own business?

When JB was on "That's Incredible" TV show, Gillete Razor commercials, Boreal ads soloing The Gift, and magazine shots, asked Chappy to shoot him on the Nabisco solo, etc...were there a bunch of armchair heros questioning the purity of his soloing motives?

A still camera becomes a video camera, the routes become a letter or two harder. Otherwise, what exactly is the difference between the revered soloing heroes like Bachar and Croft, and Honnold?
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Jun 15, 2011 - 11:27am PT
What you might consider understanding better, is your notion that Alex’s reward for his unroped outings is “cameras, sponsorship, and fame”. It just isn’t. His reward and the result of such radical outings is so far beyond the material realm as to make your query blatantly uninformed, with due respect. When you do climbing like this, the ecstatic and transcendental nature of your outing is ever so much more your focus that suggestions by others that you are up there seeking ordinary gain can only seem to be irrelevant and in fact churlish, even if not intended to be so.

Peter I agree 100% with you on this and well stated.

All I know is when I did some solo's of some very easy stuff I went to a place in my mind where I had never been and in that place I found comfort, relaxation, peace and quiet like I had never felt before. I could see how one might want to go to that place often given his skill set/ and mental ability to find that place in his head allowing for both feet to leave the ground.

And to the OT by the OP WOW!

Johnny K.

climber
Southern,California
Jun 15, 2011 - 11:35am PT
“They have no clue. Only later, when you master your sport and feel good about yourself and make some money, do you realize that that sh#t isn’t really that important. Then you relax and it doesn’t matter so much.” John Bachar

http://rockandice.com/component/zine/article/606-John-Bachars-Last-Interview-with-Rock-and-Ice?start=14
Smeagol

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 15, 2011 - 11:35am PT
I'm leaning toward Drummond's view (http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1122068);. Anyone else concerned about whether Alex will still be with us in 5 years? When cameras, sponsorship and fame are the rewards for risking your life, the end result seems almost inevitable.

I've met Alex and watched him climb. I've never seen a more fluid and confident climber. In my opinion, when he solos... it's no different than when you or I are walking along the edge of a cliff, or traversing a knife-edge ridge. You know you won't fall, because you don't want to die. It's that simple. That's the level he's at.

Many more people do much more dangerous things in the mountains with high levels of objective danger; soloing on glaciers, climbing along cornices, attempting peaks in winter conditions, etc. Yet we rarely criticize them for the level of risk or label them "suicidal."

Also, many of us have climbed butt-puckering run-out pitches far above our gear, where a fall could easily become fatal. Does it really make a difference when the consequences are the same?

Anyways... Props to Alex!!
frog-e

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jun 15, 2011 - 12:03pm PT
Radical solo! Props to Alex.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jun 15, 2011 - 12:24pm PT
Yet we rarely criticize them for the level of risk or label them "suicidal."

Or course we do. They just aren't public figures, so most people don't hear it, but their friends and families do talk to them about the dangerous things they do. Cautioning them to be careful, to maybe not do some of the things they do. It happens all the time. Its just a persons circle of family and friends is small, and once that person becomes famous, then more people feel a bond with them and care about them, so more people speak up. Thats one of the prices of fame. You can make money by being famous, but you also have a spotlight on you, so more people care about you, and more people feel free to speak up.

My buddy Walter was a speed freak. Nothing made him happier then to ride his motorcycle as fast as he could. His friends and family spent a lot of effort trying to keep him reigned in. It just wasn't public.

Before the internet these things played out in the newspapers and magazines.

klk

Trad climber
cali
Jun 15, 2011 - 01:07pm PT
moosie, the point is that there's something particular about soloing on rock climbs that triggers the sort of response we've seen from ed ward drummond.

folks drop like flies on 8000ers, but there's not a huge thread on ST or wherever with a famous climber weighing in to say that no one should ever climb annapurna.

i do find that contrast really weird. my very first alpine season, climbing with and around folks pushing the envelope, i learned that there was basically nothing anyone could do on good rock in good weather that even approached the dicey ness of many alpine classics let along cutting edge and high-altitude stuff.

phoenix is an impressive solo, and i personally would never deliberately rap into a solo (i always hated free climbing out of aiders-- rap-hard solo is way worse!), but i just don't see it as anywhere near as dicey as the sort of stuff folks are running right now in cham.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 15, 2011 - 01:13pm PT
folks drop like flies on 8000ers, but there's not a huge thread on ST or wherever with a famous climber weighing in to say that no one should ever climb annapurna.

Well maybe not Annapurna but the Taco certainly experiences episodic 8000er bashing for sure. Most recently....

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1516645/Douchebaggery-on-Kangchenjunga

DMT



klk

Trad climber
cali
Jun 15, 2011 - 01:17pm PT
^^^^yeah, but that was a mix of sherpa and guided-climb bashing.

i have yet to see a serious thread in which someone like conrad anker weighs in and says ueli steck shouldn't climb annapurna. or cho oyu. or that the giri-giri boys shouldn't go out and tick their next rig.

whereas somone soloing on good rock in good weather elicits all sorts of handwringing. some of that is just that most of the posters here are rockclimbers and dont know jack about mountains, of course. but it's clearly more than that. and it goes beyond ewd.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jun 15, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
hey there say, ken... thanks for sharing with us...

thanks for the links, from various folks here too...

me, not being a climber, well: i'd never have had any idea climbers really did this, until i learned from such, here at supertopo...


i just had only heard of the old climbing guys, and all their gear, etc...

i've sure learned of the vast whole skill-range of climbers, here...


yet, of course, my prayers will stil be with them all...
congrats too, to alex (had only learned of him, through here, as well)...

:)
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
Jun 15, 2011 - 02:04pm PT
Maybe it's partly because the danger of soloing a protectable line seems gratuitous, a little like bouldering a V.easy with hands and feet coated with Crisco and a tub of razors under you. In mountaineering it's a little easier to see the risk as regrettable but essential to some other reasonable goal rather than as the very point of the exercise.

That's not obviously a valid reason to find Honnold's feat more objectionable than an equally risky mountain climb. There are many obvious differences between his amazing climb and a Crisco boulder ascent, and no doubt some mountaineers are danger junkies too, but it at least shows that the difference in people's attitudes towards them is not bizarre and inexplicable.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jun 15, 2011 - 02:18pm PT
Jeez louise.
It's really no different than any other solo, except that it is.

Everybody has their own comfort level, limits, and calculated risk.

Progression in an open ended pursuit.

Climbing is F*#king awesome!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 15, 2011 - 02:19pm PT
I see your point klk. I couldn't imagine Conrad Anker doing that, lol. But I couldn't imagine him pasting Honnold here, either.

DMT
MMCC

climber
New Zealand
Jun 15, 2011 - 02:33pm PT
Who cares what his reasons are? Churlish nitpicking. Take a core sample of that lad and you would find commitment and ability. Incredible, climbing at its most vivid.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jun 15, 2011 - 02:59pm PT
dingus, yeah, but i was surprised to see the ewd thing, too.

murcy, yeah, i think that's part of it.
CrackAddict

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:01pm PT
Wow- that is pushing the ropeless envelope. I have never been on Romantic Warrior but Phoenix is much, much harder than Equinox (probably the equivalent of 2-3 laps, and much more technical, especially where the crack goes diagonal).

Excellent job Alex!
poop_tube

Big Wall climber
33° 45' N 117° 52' W
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:35pm PT
respect
MisterE

Social climber
Cinderella Story, Outa Nowhere
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:38pm PT
My friend Chris Schlotfeldt, aka "Snickers" red-pointed it back in the 90's, and he describes it as follows when I asked about the crux:

"Overhanging, right-leaning (barn-doory), tip-locks, dime-sized feet, 7-8 solid moves long and the crack is angled at a 45 degree angle upward into the rock so it's really awkward to get the right body position. The first 25-30 feet would also be crazy - solid 5.12 pin scars that are widely spaced in a very shallow corner - smearing for feet. After the crux it's full on endurance for 100 feet or so of overhanging, right-leaning, off fingers."
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:44pm PT
Way to go Alex! Enjoy yourself and be careful up there.
sullly

Trad climber
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:49pm PT
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Look at the chunk that fell on Baba the other day. Your mind can't control that. This guy's an Icarus and North Face manufactured his wings.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Jun 15, 2011 - 04:17pm PT
I'm with klk

I met alex on the pizza deck last year- and all I said was- Keep doing what you're doing. That kind of passion is what fuels inspiration for others.

I love his answer to the 12 yo in telluride- "We're all going to die. Might as well go out big."

WBraun

climber
Jun 15, 2011 - 04:19pm PT
Falling off a free solo and dying is not "Going out big" .......
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 15, 2011 - 04:24pm PT
Werner, you are wasting your time with mental speculations. All this is an illusion anyway. Do you know what is real?
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 15, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
folks drop like flies on 8000ers, but there's not a huge thread on ST or wherever with a famous climber weighing in to say that no one should ever climb annapurna.
One, let me just say that Honnold's solo is just rad beyond words. If he's got the chops to do it, then let the guy do it.

Two, no one wrings their hands over guys bagging 8000m peaks (perhaps other than their families). However, I think it's generally kind of understood that most of them out there climbing hard stuff are eventually going to run out of luck. How many people who have climbed all 14 8000m peaks--or who climbed lots of hard routes on individual peaks--are still alive?

I was just looking at a classic shot of Tom Horbein and Willi Unsoeld starting up the West Ridge of Everest. It was like that were in a dingy prepaing to row across the Atlantic. Who knew if they were coming back?

But I digress...congrats to Alex.
WBraun

climber
Jun 15, 2011 - 06:41pm PT
Elcapinyoazz -- "All this is an illusion anyway. Do you know what is real?"


In this material world everything is real although temporary.

The illusion comes when one believes the material world is all there is .....
James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
Jun 15, 2011 - 06:51pm PT
Honnold's actions are part of a Vendetta. We met in Squamish years ago. When I told him I'd fallen off the crux of Pipeline, he went and soloed it. When I was driving to Zion to free climb Moonlight Buttress, he called and told me he had soloed it. Regular route on Half Dome, The Rostroman, just about any long hard free route I've tried- samee thing. I've been working on Phoenix this spring- getting close- so you know what Alex did?

Llyod Christmas steals my thunder
Llyod Christmas steals my thunder
Credit: James

He's a nice guy- for a dick.
S.Leeper

Sport climber
Pflugerville, Texas
Jun 15, 2011 - 07:34pm PT
^^^

That is funny!

Have you been on freerider recently?
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Jun 15, 2011 - 08:13pm PT
He's a nice guy- for a dick.

LOL.
MisterE

Social climber
Cinderella Story, Outa Nowhere
Jun 15, 2011 - 08:28pm PT
Too funny, James.

How 'bout those bangs?

;)
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jun 15, 2011 - 08:41pm PT
Careful james, calling honnold out on supertopo is likewalking onto the set of Tool Time and giving Tim Allen the finger. Gonna piss off the fanboys here :)

I popped around the corner in yos and ran into him, segal, harrington and elias... and was wearing his shirt. Wouldn't have felt any geekier if I was dressed up as a storm trooper.

Long undies under shorts didn't help either. I am so beta male hehe.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Jun 15, 2011 - 10:27pm PT
sure it is wb

this verily is that
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 15, 2011 - 11:30pm PT
Wow!

also that James is pretty funny!
drewsky

climber
Seattle
Jun 15, 2011 - 11:46pm PT
The only thing I would call into question is totally unrelated to the integrity of the solo ascent, but more about the the climb itself: It's more like hard 5.11 at the beginning and the crack is never tips size (unless your fingers are huge), rather good finger size widening to baggy fingers at the crux and thin hands for the overhanging finish. It's totally on par with Equinox when it comes down to the nitty gritty and deserves no hyperbole (3x as hard as Equinox = no). It's truly a 5.13 crack for skilled mortals.

That said, fu!&ing good job, Alex! I hope there are some decent pics of that on the way.

Edit: Sorry. I'll put this on Mountain Project where it will be interpreted as route beta instead of slander.
Sean Killigan

Trad climber
Garberville
Jun 16, 2011 - 09:15am PT
That's good info to have Drew, thanks. It's not like you can just walk up and get a close peak of the business, so it's nice to know what the actual climbing is like.

Never having been on Phoenix but having good familiarity with Equinox, I'd think if you stacked Equinox on itself to be equivalent of 3 laps, it would clock in about 13c or 13+.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jun 16, 2011 - 09:18am PT
Eagerly awaiting photos.
Peter

Trad climber
San Francisco
Jun 16, 2011 - 12:36pm PT
Response to Haan....

Maybe the main thrust of my original post was a little muddled. I am awed by what Alex has achieved. But, I am sickened by the consequences if he peels.

Peter in Sf, of course everyone here is concerned, and concerned about each and every one of us. We have discussed this at length already as you do note. Part of what climbing has always meant are these kinds of adventures---- ones where the climber very well might die in the doing and for the slightest of reasons. It is nothing new. Roped or not. Climbing is actually real, you know, and has hideous danger in much of its execution. It may or may not be able to justify it deaths; that is a huge and separate subject.


I mostly agree with you here, astonshing, huh?. Being in the moment on a climb near my limits - inner voice calm, trusting my ability - is sublime and like nothing else I have ever experienced.

But some climbing deaths are particularly appalling and questionable specifically because they were for the slightest of reasons. Exhibit A would be Skinner.

What you might consider understanding better, is your notion that Alex’s reward for his unroped outings is “cameras, sponsorship, and fame”. It just isn’t. His reward and the result of such radical outings is so far beyond the material realm as to make your query blatantly uninformed, with due respect. When you do climbing like this, the ecstatic and transcendental nature of your outing is ever so much more your focus that suggestions by others that you are up there seeking ordinary gain can only seem to be irrelevant and in fact churlish, even if not intended to be so.

Blatantly uninformed, with due respect??

How do YOU know what makes Alex tick?

Unlike the rest of us, Honnold is getting very tangible rewards for putting his neck on the line. His climbs are filmed and well publicized because they are free solos with no margin for error. The risk could be (almost) eliminated by throwing on a rope, but then who would care?

I don't think that Honnold climbs to make money anymore than any other top athlete. But, just like any other top athlete, there are significant incentives beyond the merely transcendental to do be the best in the field. To a degree beyond almost any other sport and particularly for Honnold, that means taking horrendous risks.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Jun 16, 2011 - 01:07pm PT
Wow! Chilling and impressive.
Erik
drewsky

climber
Seattle
Jun 17, 2011 - 11:55am PT
I suppose it's inevitable for people to question the purity of motives when it comes to top-notch climbers, but attempts to frame the climbers as media whores is just a rhetorical tool, especially in the context of internet forums. Basically, someone like Alex would have to intentionally hide his intentions at this point to avoid any glint of media spotlight. If Alex gets to do what he enjoys in part because people document his actions, sometimes for commercial purposes, why would he dream of playing down his achievements? When the commercial purpose is sometimes to produce inspiring footage of the event for thousands of viewers, does that somehow tarnish the motives of the climber himself? What level of self-promotion is acceptable to armchair critics (keeping in mind that some type of self-promotion is what nets anyone a job, a mate, etc.)? Any 'good/bad' judgment raises far more questions than it answers. It's impossible to be certain what the true intentions are of someone who solos in front of a camera, but sharing such intensely personal events has plenty of precedent. My guess is that along with a fierce personal drive, people like Wolfgang Gullich, Alex Huber and Alex Honnold (to name but a few) have no particular qualms about having visual records kept of their accomplishments to share with others, especially if it allows them more latitude for their pursuits.

Edit: Not to say that there's an absolute excess of denigrating comments in this thread; rather some musings about the role that media might play in this scenario.
michaeld

Sport climber
Near Tahoe, CA
Jun 17, 2011 - 01:48pm PT
So the only people who deserve a spotlight are people with belayers and spotters?


Why can't the first person to solo Moonlight Buttress or NW Reg Route of Half Dome get the attention?
frog-e

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jun 17, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Alex isn't going to get killed climbing, roped or otherwise. He's playing with a full deck and is super smart. His computer/brain'll tell him when it's enough. It's just a wee bit mind blowing for the average to believe it when they see...a prodigy.
CrackAddict

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 17, 2011 - 03:02pm PT
Drewsky - the bottom (shallow dihedral) is long reaches between first knuckle tips pinscars. I don't know how anyone can call that "good fingers"! Maybe you didn't rappel low enough to start?

I think the "Snickers" description from above (reprinted below) is accurate, except for the part about the 100 ft of endurance. If you get about 5 feet past the diagonal part it becomes much easier, the thin hands are solid because the crack is so clean and there is a ramp on the right.

"Overhanging, right-leaning (barn-doory), tip-locks, dime-sized feet, 7-8 solid moves long and the crack is angled at a 45 degree angle upward into the rock so it's really awkward to get the right body position. The first 25-30 feet would also be crazy - solid 5.12 pin scars that are widely spaced in a very shallow corner - smearing for feet. After the crux it's full on endurance for 100 feet or so of overhanging, right-leaning, off fingers."

No way is Phoenix "on par" with Equinox! Phoenix is 5.13, Equinox is 5.12c (if that!). I think Phoenix is slightly harder than Cosmic Debris actually.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 17, 2011 - 04:47pm PT
Once again Peter in SF and folks,

We have been doing these kinds of extreme solos for more than fifty years. There is a pretty massive unwritten history of unroped climbing in the modern era. Myself included in there even. It just isn’t new. But often the community gets pretty excited over these events when actually the ascents are right in stride with climbing generally, however horrifically.

And given that the degree of all climbing has slid up five levels since severe solos took a place on the modern stage and a rope became optional, there really isn’t anything new (relatively) here with Alex’s activities. They are the logical extension of decades of such risky undertakings and a bunch of generations of us his mentors. And these kinds of ascents will continue onwards, certainly. Alex is well-read, terrifically talented and does revere Croft--- what should we expect!

We were extreme soloing decades before there was any money whatsoever available for such achievements and for sponsorship. And I can’t recall any photos or movies taken of solos until the later seventies. Money, material gain, most of what happens on the ground actually, can not be further from our minds and couldn’t have been when there wasn’t any money whatsoever obviously and whatever else might have motivated one, was just as transitory as it is now when you are doing top level moves far above the ground. Your mind is just far cleaner then. As an expert climber, you know you just don’t take these risks unless they spring from your deepest feelings and needs, not from surface issues and for the sake of others.

That there is now often photography taken of some of these outrageous feats is only a tertiary fact to the event, or re-enacted event. To cite this activity as the reason for the climbing is of course uninformed and ungracious. And I for one am very grateful that some of this history is being recorded; it is important.

We have lost some soloists. It was horrible when we did. We will lose more of them, too. And it will always be. Likewise, we will lose plenty of regular climbers toiling away on their more conventional challenges---they aren’t quaranteed full immunity because they are modest in their exploits. And we lose baker’s dozens of them in the Himalayas in a single week sometimes too, similarly pointlessly if you extract from the motive, the transcendental seeker. Climbing whether roped or unroped involves much more than a day out in the wilderness or bracing for comely challenges on safe formations. At the vanguard, it usually means almost unimaginable flights of risk and vision, often enough at phenomenal costs of all sorts. Some of this human experience makes its way back into literature, a good part of it doesn’t but is carried in our oral and personal traditions, often for centuries.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 17, 2011 - 05:18pm PT
^Mr Hahn, thank you. Please write the book on the history of soloing. Your writing has the wisdom of first hand experience, and I love to read it. The innate love you have for climbing shines through.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 17, 2011 - 05:31pm PT
Hi KaroD , Thanks for the kind words. Yes, that is a good book idea! I would want to do it with real kindness and insight. It would take a great deal of new journalism, shifting the tale from the crude one of bluster and hyperbole to the development of a better understanding why climbers will just go out and climb like this. Next issue of Alpinist has another article of mine that you will like by the way.
WBraun

climber
Jun 17, 2011 - 06:16pm PT
People don't need to know why someone free solos.

They either understand or they don't.

If you don't understand ..... too bad.

It's not to be understood by everyone anyways .....
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 17, 2011 - 06:47pm PT
I agree Werner, the why they do it is ephemeral anyways, unexplainable. But the history of it and first hand stories from people like Peter and Werner, and countless others would be an incredible read. Let people figure the why out for themselves, after reading the stories.
Bad Climber

climber
Jun 17, 2011 - 07:52pm PT
DMT: Interesting point about Achilles. He had a choice--to live a long life or die a glorious warrior. He chose the later. The interesting follow up to this is that when Odysseus meets him in Hades and says how cool it must be to have died a great warrior and how he must, like, totally rule the underworld, Achilles says: "Better to be a poor slave of a poor master than rule in the underworld." Big regret. Actually, Plato, that old fascist, wanted this passage redacted from Homer because Plato thought it might sap the will to fight from young warriors. What seems so important in the flame of youth is often less so with the advent of perspective.

That said, bloody impressive solo! Hats off, and I hope he lives long and prospers.

BAd
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jun 17, 2011 - 08:32pm PT
Haan Solo!

Dropping knowledge.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 17, 2011 - 09:29pm PT
And Alex has the name of one of the greatest Greek heroes of all, a real one at that.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jun 17, 2011 - 09:37pm PT
We have been doing these kinds of extreme solos for more than fifty years.

Longer than that Peter. In fact, if you go back past fifty years and look at what passed for roped climbing... Suffice to say that there was a lot of serious sh#t done a long time ago in which the rope was just something used to bring the second up.

(Which is in no way to disagree with the spirit of your comment.)
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 17, 2011 - 09:42pm PT
True Ghost. And some of that was quite hard too. Like 5.10 maybe more. For these historic pseudo-roped climbs there is much more known than the later 'actual' solos of our era, general mountaineering literature covers those older events well. It is the extreme solo jaunts without even the pretense of equipment that might bear up to more of a literary look as time allows and climbers involved age to point they actually are recording their recollections.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 19, 2011 - 02:42pm PT
I'm with Peter and Drummond on this one. The whole thing makes me sad. I'd hate to have been in the cheering crowd when an accident happens. Thats MHO. Flame on.
jfailing

Trad climber
Lone Pine
Jun 20, 2011 - 07:19am PT
Written in the dust on Alex's back window this weekend:

"Stop soloing my projects"
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jun 20, 2011 - 08:36am PT
I think about him all the time..
In the last year while climbing on Black Velvet, climbing on El Cap, climbing in Squamish, climbing the Rostrum, Zion, crack climbing, ect
His feats are just mind blowing only because I have a very little something to compare them too.
I think it is only us climbers who can truly know how remarkabke this guy is...
I mean 99.9999999999 percent of the world hardly cares and has no comprehension of these feets...

Yet it can not overstated...
These are some of the sickest human achievements in history....period....

Absolutly sick!!

We climb because we are climbers....
It certainly isn't for fame or money...
Much easier ways to gain either.....
His accolades come because he is remarkable...


But death comes quickly and the whispers of death die even quicker as people move on..
Hard to also understand this unless you are constantly surrounded by death...
So I understand the mixed feelings, but there it stops...

There is no analogy for these feets except in fable and myth....
Achilles lives on....

Riley



Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jun 20, 2011 - 08:41am PT
Still looking forward to photos of Alex on the Phoenix.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 22, 2011 - 06:59am PT
So this link brings you to Alex's comments on his ascent, tells us it was filmed by Peter Mortimer and perhaps most interestingly of all, Ray Jardine's reaction to Alex's climb.

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=38260#
hb81

climber
Jun 22, 2011 - 07:39am PT
So this link brings you to Alex's comments on his ascent, tells us it was filmed by Peter Mortimer and perhaps most interestingly of all, Ray Jardine's reaction to Alex's climb.

I once lost my grip while free soloing 1,100 feet above the ground, and started to fall but managed to grab a tiny (5.11) hold another foot down. I learned a big lesson from that - that I wasn't in "total" control. And that was my last free solo.

Whew!
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jun 22, 2011 - 07:56am PT
sounds like Jardine is missing the limelight....
coz

Gym climber
not sure
Jun 22, 2011 - 08:23am PT
I would say yes people gave JB a lot of crap for soloing for the media. The approach to the Phoenix is by rappel. I risked my life rigging all the time. I soloed a lot in my day, so I can only say that Alex is extremely gifted and I miss the sh#t out of Bachar.

As blown away by Alex accomplishment as I am; I'm certain that he also needs to make a living. Doing what he loves and getting paid is everyones dream.

I don't know what to say except I am more impressed by Moffat on sighting the thing 26 years ago with a rope, and I hope that Alex's lives to have the same chance to muse as I do now.

I never filmed my solos because I never wanted to share a very personal experience. More over set a bad example, but that's just me.

I'd say that all risk taking for your own glory and satisfaction is selfish, it certainly take maturity to understand the difference in a higher purpose and purpose of the self.
Sent form my iPhone.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jun 22, 2011 - 09:37am PT
It is rather interesting that we discuss Honnold's soloing so much more that any other major solo climber's soloing.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Jun 26, 2011 - 01:13am PT
He had to be sizing up Southern Belle for a solo run too.
dfinnecy

Social climber
'stralia
Jun 26, 2011 - 05:35am PT
Mr Haan, I will add my vote to see that book as well.

In a perfect world Mr Braun will contribute some poems to be interspersed between chapters and salient pages. Maybe he can write a few pages himself. I'll buy 20 copies to give to anyone I climb with.

Coz wrote:
I never filmed my solos because I never wanted to share a very personal experience. More over set a bad example, but that's just me.

I'd say that all risk taking for your own glory and satisfaction is selfish, it certainly take maturity to understand the difference in a higher purpose and purpose of the self.

I never filmed my solos because no one who knew what it meant ever would have cared even a bit. And I only solo really easy stuff, so no one will care period. Still though, solos are the crowning experiences of my time climbing.

I always felt my own glory (glory generally not to be shared in specifics outside my skull) and satisfaction was the only higher purpose. What other higher purpose is there in soloing?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 26, 2011 - 05:49am PT
Still though, solos are the crowning experiences of my time climbing.

I haven't done a ton of solos, but I can't say I consider them "crowning experiences" in my climbing career. Significant? Yes. Extremely personal? Definitely. Satisfying? Deeply.

But, hardly the best or brightest when I look back on the climbing I've done. In part, that's because they've always been on lines where I knew I could control all of the risks involved. More of what I consider my peak experiences were all doing roped FAs while operating way outside my comfort zone.

That said, I certainly understand and respect different climbing priorities and perspectives around this kind of experience and how people internally 'value' them over the long haul.
russellg

Sport climber
Malibu, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 10:02am PT
That's just silly (but quite rad).
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 11:22am PT
I just can't conceive that much skill and ability. For me it's like trying to imagine how big a "google" is in terms of particles of sand. I can start on the path to calculating or comparing with my experience in a rational way, and then it just breaks down.

It must be hard to have sooo much skill and ability at something (even though climbing isn't important in the scheme of things), to be so far out on the extreme tail of human ability. What do you do with that? Is there some responsibility toward one's self or to others to take advantage of that skill and ability? Is there some kind of inner crime to not exploit such a gift? Or is it a curse, an affliction? Is there an inner cry to just be mediocre? Or are all of these just my mediocre climber musings, grasping at straws to understand what cannot be understood by me?
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 30, 2011 - 11:57am PT
It is rather interesting that we discuss Honnold's soloing so much more that any other major solo climber's soloing.

Two thoughts.

1. California-centric website, california routes being soloed, californian kid doing the soloing.

2. Who exactly are "other major solo climbers" who are doing it on a regular basis? Dean and ???
TripleS_in_EBs

climber
Poulsbo, WA
Jul 1, 2011 - 03:22pm PT
Chief,
This ain't Phoenix. And it ain't free solo. But it is a photo of a certain person of interest in a very conspicuous location about two weeks after an infamous first free solo ascent was reported.

Sorry. That's as close as i can get to your photo request. Don't know what's taking Mortimer so long. Maybe there's a long line at the Fotomat store.

AH on TGL
AH on TGL
Credit: TripleS_in_EBs
eagle

Trad climber
new paltz, ny
Jul 1, 2011 - 06:59pm PT
wheres the photos wheres the video? this i have to see
Messages 1 - 121 of total 121 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews