I used to free-solo a lot of stuff in the 1970s. In Tuolomne I free-soloed the Great White Book about 20 times, often after a bunch of toking and often carrying an open can of Budweiser on the climb. I free-soloed the Water Cracks on Lembert. I also did a lot of free-soloing on glacier Point Apron. I even free-soloed and down-climbed the Grack in hiking boots. I always down-climbed the routes, although I used to carry a 50m rope on occasion. Down climbing really made you a much better climber. Here I am free-soloing Patio Pinnacle (no rope for the descent).
Free-soloing Patio Pinnacle, Yosemite Valley, late 1970s
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Also did a winter ascent of the Prow over Christmas 1983 with Bill Crouse.
SLR, Barry posts under his own name and he lives outside of San Antonio. He climbs at Enchanted Rocks, close to Austin, where Selfish Man lives. This is a recent picture of Barry, I think.
Speaking of Lunatic Fringe, sometime soon after Barry had first climbed it, I casually rode down to Reeds with Dave Bircheff to climb it, assuming, wrongly, that I was more than prepared for such a classic 5.10. We only climbed with Hexs and Stoppers, so the protection was sketchy. The crack width was outside my sweet spot by a mile and I started melting, a long way from my last good point. Then the 'Watch me' calls could be heard thought out the Valley, with increased frequency and abject terror, followed by whimpering and gasping sobs as I downclimbed pulling my decorator protection and yelling “up rope” to Dave.
Finally at my good point, I regained by manly status and announced that it wasn't a good day for climbing and lowered off, never to return.
Barry and I have remained good friends.
Bridwell said it best: "I don't like to climb with Barry: he is too strong!"
Roger's information is precisely correct. We are lucky to have Barry around here in Texas and he is a strong and inspiring climber. But I'll shut up since he may be reading. The Lunatic Fringe photo was taken couple months or so ago.