honnold again

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Messages 21 - 39 of total 39 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
orle

climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
That bit about stalling on the Black Corner crux of Monkeyfinger, f*#k that's grim.

the ultimate solo
is the one you
don't tell anybody about

Until you tell someone about it and then the solo itself becomes less ultimate how?

rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 27, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Everybody complains about no climbing content on ST. Then this thread, (or the one I posted of pretty girls climbing the Hulk) drops to the third page like a stone. ha

did you hear about the UFO sitings over Mt. Shasta....?
sullly

Trad climber
Apr 27, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
Good article. Nice touches like the frat boys recognizing A.H. from 60 min. then giving him a lift.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 28, 2013 - 12:23pm PT
ddriver said:
what strikes me is how close he comes to the line, but maybe all free soloing is closer than we recognize or admit

John Mac said:
Me too. I alway thought that he wouldn't even have to think about getting the sequence right ...

Chill said:
Alex is playing Russian Roulette, which is his right. Consumers of climbing porn (including myself) are egging him on.


These are all very important observations. Not at all to criticize them; more so to explore them as questions. I'm no Alex Honnold but I am a climber who has played the game for keeps and I've also done tons of free soloing and a good deal of it on-sight.

I knew John Bachar personally and although he most often climbed in total and absolute control beyond what most people could imagine, he was human as well and mistakes were made here and there. Moratorium is an example. Crescent Arch is an example. On both routes he had to pause significantly and consider just what it was he was faced with.

It's important to remember that people who do this are not robots. Many of us are so distanced from this type of blood sport commitment that by extension from our own fragile positions we hope that they are robots such that this justifies their effort against the risks.

I use the analogy to auto racing because it is fitting. People burn to death in pursuit of that passion. Spectators abound and egg them on! Regardless they would do it without any crowd adulation I guarantee you.

Free solo climbing does sometimes involve self-doubt, human fragility, on spot decision-making, minimal small mistakes, and all kinds of things that might make the uninitiated cringe. Back to motorsports for an example: the best Moto GP racers (top-tier motorcycle racing on road circuits) report that one of their better coping mechanisms is the ability to recover from mistakes and keep their psych and focus running clean.

In one of Alex's interviews he states much the same: namely that he can make little goofs, but it is his ability to slough these off and keep his groove on which gives him the ability to persist without being freaked out. This is the hallmark of a true champion.

True champions of blood sport sometimes die in pursuit of their passion. Don't think for a minute this invalidates their calling. The seeker must heed the call. (Quoted or paraphrased from Peter Haan, Alpinist 42) ... And if you are young and dumb and full of cum, please don't tell your mother I said this!
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
What if the tree Alex impaled himself on on the descent hadn't been there?What kind of conversation would we now be having? Used to do a bit of soloing in my youth, sometimes in excess of 4000' feet a day-all much much easier of course. Anyway, one day i was on new ground 500 feet off the deck, had three points of contact-two hands and a foot,when simultaneously the left handhold and foothold snapped, i pulled up on the right and reached through to another handhold and safety. Didn,t bother me at the time, but i never forgot it and often wondered what if i had only had two points of contact.There has been a number of soloists found broken and mangled at the base of crags, some quite prominent, which proves their are sometimes things, a tiny miscalculation or objective hazard beyond human control, that go wrong. Nobody can defy the odds forever, that is the rational thing to keep in mind.Apart from this observation, the level of solos he has done is a feat matched by few, if any, others before him. He's also a damn good writer.
WBraun

climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
The ultimate solo.

There's no such thing.

It never ever exists nor even existed ever.

We are not alone nor completely independent ever.
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
Re: Alex Honnold I've sometimes wonder if part of his ability to remain calm and collected when soloing is related to his age and prefrontal cortex development:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefrontal_cortex

In a nutshell, the prefrontal cortex doesn't develop fully until mid-twenties or so. It's the part of the brain that moderates decisions and a lack of it seems to lead to a lot of unprotected teen sex, high speed driving under the influence, jumping off high sh#t, etc. :-) But reading the full description of what the prefrontal cortex does (or doesn't do when not developed) doesn't seem to entirely explain "how Alex does it." Complex stuff. At the end of the day, we're just speculating here. No simple answers.

Now that Alex is around 27, maybe his "head" for this is changing. I appreciated his honesty in that piece.

Eric
jstan

climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
At the start I said what Honnold does is his business. Not ours.

There is something we might consider, however. If he goes, then what? He is a little like an ice berg. The climbing, that we see, may be only ten percent of his talents. He can write and he knows what can be said and done, and what cannot. These are great and unusual talents.

Much more valuable to us than the climbing.
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 28, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Agree with John. He's in the public eye so people are going to speculate. I too sense that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with respect to what he will do in this life.

Definitely his business choosing what he does and he seems comfortable with that. And also seems to have the mind and presence to intelligently question himself and his motives.

I'm just appreciating his spirit. That is part of, but also much more than just the climbing and his feats.

Eric
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
At the start I said what Honnold does is his business. Not ours.

Until he films it, photos it, blogs it, shares it, profits from it. It sort of is our business, from a distance.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
Yep, it's complicated.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:35pm PT
It's no different than guys like Corliss jumping off stuff. It's meant to entertain,,, AND fill a need for the Kid. People just want the Kid to live a while longer is all.

Coz, do we know he loves doing it? Reading the story, I did not get that feeling. He is probably as confused as we are about it, about his motivations et al. We are all one in this.

Personally, I am not fascinated by free-soloing. I can appreciate it and the people that do it, but that is all. I have, however, done enough of it to know what the subject here is all about. Encouraging anyone to free-solo is about the last thing I would do.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
Why shouldn't he profit from it, he loves doing it.

I didn't say he shouldn't. I merely suggested that the way this stuff is presented tips the scales away from "none of our business."

I like the films too.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:16pm PT
Wanna know what really scares me. In all seriousness.

The guy is probably safer soloing than I am roped.

Tough way to make a living though. Marketing is a strange world.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
Alex is playing Russian Roulette, which is his right. Consumers of climbing porn (including myself) are egging him on.

Chill has it right; It's all good till it's not.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
I think the guy is mind blowing. I can make no assumptions about his motivations.

I only soloed 5.10, usually pretty solid ones. So I've done ones that felt pretty basic to me and also ones where I felt I was well beyond basic...heh...But I still know how radical it "felt" in between my ears when I was on a sketchy one.

I hope Alex lives a long time.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
I hope Alex lives a long time.

Yes. Please!!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 28, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
ascribe meaning to it as you see fit

This is a mature way to look at his life's accomlishments.

To me there are indications that Alex's writing style is zoned in on RR's best, but he's had that role model since he started climbing, and who knows really who he's going to eclipse as a writer?

He's funny, too, really funny, if you've seen him deliver on the stage. He understands timing. I hope he finds time to write more.

Dan L.

Trad climber
Massachusetts
May 2, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
So impressed -- who could not be -- but so, so worried about the headline I fear one of these days, Alex. Please put a rope on and live a long time. It's not just for your sake, or for your mom's. The more we laud and celebrate achievements like this, however impressive, the more we normalize taking risks like this and by doing so encourage others to follow. I miss my dead friends. I really do.
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