it's always a bit sad when those sitting in old folks homes project either their dreams or their nightmares onto the lives of those doing the living.
'cause, as has always been and will always be the case, the only guy/gal who knows whether or not their 2500' long and 12' girthed "dick" is filled with silicone and fear, is too busy working it to comment...
I believe one has to acknowledge Pacific Edge's Tom Davis and Diane Russell, who have mentored a young Chris and many other climbers, including yours truly. Their stoke for the sport is contagious. They make climbing fun, accessible and safe. Cheers to these two.
And Peter Carrick.
I recall when Sharma first showed up at Pac Edge. Perhaps he was 12 or 13? He was almost instantly climbing way above his age and experience. Chris and Alex and others have a natural gift for climbing in the 99.999 percentile.
A lot of their excellence also comes from living the sport. Think of Kauk, Bachar, Bard in the 70s and 80's. "Walking up" routes that most of us we working hard at while on belay.
This is what they do. Nearly all that they do. When they do have to ask the question "can I do this route today?", they've got the ingrained thought and "feeling" processes to reach a safe conclusion.
We "mortals" cannot compare our experiences to theirs. Those who try to emulate someone like Alex or JB do so at their peril. (no, I don't believe they are God-like nor that God has anything to do with their success)
Power Point..I remember talking to an infrequent taco poster, valley hardman right after he and his partner made an attempt and bailed. Both these climbers have freed El Cap, btw. Came down because they had bad gear beta, were up there with like one piece bigger than a blue camalot and there's a pitch (11a? IIRC) that's more or less 3.5-4" for the whole pitch.
They said it looked fantastic and was awesome up that point. I still haven't gone up there, heard the traverse pitch is reachy and runout at the crux.
if you can look at yourself and truly believe that what you do now is worthwhile, truthful, and internally valuable, then you've won.
I saw some ST member say it in a different thread, and thought it applies here. If one does something for those reasons and is ok with the risk involved than the person has won, no matter what the consequence is. If you die no one will agree that attempting to solo some climb was worth it, but can you admit to yourself that your life was worth living if you do not take at least some of the calculated risks you wanted to take? We all take calculated risks. Above Coz himself said he climbed some pitch with one rusty bolt as an anchor above, or ran some R X pitches on FAs. Not sure if that is much safer than free soloing a rehearsed climb.
Alot of the thigs I lead are more dangerous than my solos but that is probobly due to the fact that I solo WAY below my lead limits. yesterdays ice solo was spicyer than intended though. sometimes it sneaks up on you.......