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Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2019 - 01:45pm PT
TFPU Fructose...
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2019 - 07:14am PT
Back to Corrigan's article in Climbing:


So will the movie encourage more people to free solo? Probably a couple. But at the same time, did we all encourage Honnold to free solo El Cap by lavishing praise upon his previous big solos and, later, by lining up at the box office for this documentary? I think we did.

https://www.climbing.com/news/opinion-the-free-solo-documentary-addressed-some-uncomfortable-truths-but-ignored-others/

Whilst I still contend he has a valid point, his logic suffers here. Honnold had already free soloed El Cap by the time we lined up for the documentary.
Roughster

Sport climber
Vacaville, CA
Mar 6, 2019 - 08:04am PT
I just watched Free Solo with my wife last night for the first time. I had a vague tingling of something I wrote on RC.com in 2003 about a free solo death at Donner. I just went back and dug it up to read it again.

While I would agree in hindsight it is a little dramatic and doesn't really focus enough on the personal accountability aspect, here is what I thought about it then and still feel to some extent:

1st off, condolences to the family. I hope they will get through this tough time.

W/O knowing the background of the individual, it is obviously all speculation at this point, but it makes you wonder what the effect of all the media coverage in both magazines on soloing will have. How many people will it lure with the seductive simplicity? How many of those people will be lured into a false sense of secuirty after a few easy outings on pristine rock and good weather? Someone who's partner bails and they are stuck only to remember a magazine article telling him how "cool" it was to solo? Was Justin one of those people?

Then a hold breaks, a thunderstorm hits, high winds, a small tear in the rubber of a climbing shoes, or just a regular foot slip causes it all to come crashing down resulting in a rather pointless loss of life. I am sure Justin had people who love him dearly, all of his future and potential gone :(

I don't know what the answer is to the dilemma that I see. Hell maybe there is no problem at all and it is only an issue to me, but I know as I have read the "Dangerous Games" article and other pieces on soloing, I thought about how many younger people would read it and think soloing was cool for all the wrong reasons. I know magazines don't kill people, but they sure can plant a seed, a very dangerous seed that sometimes the inexperience of youth is not yet fully capable of cultivating.

I know if I worked at the mags, I would seriously be wondering if somehow I was not an accomplice to senseless death. I know Justin is the one who made the decision to set rubber to rock that day, and he paid the ultimate price for it. But why sensationalize an activity that can easily have death as the final outcome? Sure you put in a little tagline at the beginning of the article telling people, "Soloing is dangerous and you may die..", but then you move on to expound it's glories for 20 pages. Within seconds the tagline is forgotten.

Some people will claim its Natural Selection or something akin to that, but at some point the magazines need to realize that there are impressionable, or even worse, mentally unstable people who will read a piece that talks about how cool soloing is for 20 pages and not fully realize the consequences. Why would they? Something bad always happens to the other guy right? It would never happen to them.

Well, meet "some other guy". His name was Justin and now he is gone.
Trump

climber
Mar 6, 2019 - 08:25am PT
I just saw it for the first time. I enjoyed it! It seemed to me to strike a measured balance of perspectives, especially coming from a climber director.

It is I think unquestionably a stunning almost inconceivable accomplishment on Alex’s part.

But maybe like Sanni, it’s hard for me to understand what it’s an accomplishment in service to - the world’s most accomplished mental warrior vanquishing his personal windmill in a way that society values comparably to a moderately successful dentist.

But I’m glad he does it, if that’s what he wants to do, and I especially admire his honesty and humor and humility about himself. If other people derive happiness from forming connections with people, whereas he, as he says about himself, gets a sense of “satisfaction” from doing this, feels “good” to do this, is “delighted” by doing this - great! I’m glad that he’s trying to make himself happy like those other folks are doing.

And while he has this transcendent capacity to control his mind in a way that allows him to free solo el cap, maybe he’s self-aware enough to know that he lacks an ability (that others might possess) to control his mind in order to transcend the simmering resentments he would feel if he allowed his social connections to interfere with pursuing his dreams (like his neurologically diverse dad was unable to do?), even if maybe transcending those resentments is not something he’s been willing to even try to do. Maybe doing that, or trying to do that, just wouldn’t make him feel satisfied or good or delighted in the same way that doing that makes other people feel happy.

And maybe he just slightly underappreciates how humans’ pro-social emotionality, as manifested in other people, contributes to humanity’s “accomplishments” compared to his appreciation of his own drive for “perfection.” Anyone can be happy and comfy? It doesn’t really seem like he can do that (he won’t allow himself to enjoy carving a pumpkin in the context of a socially connecting shared holiday because he resents being told when to celebrate that socially connecting shared holiday), despite his incredible abilities and privileges, and it might not be as easy for other people as he seems to believe it is.

And if those other folks (or we) can’t understand exactly what it is that he accomplished, or why, it probably shouldn’t surprise us if he (or we) can’t understand the same about them.

I’m grateful to Alex for helping us expand our awareness of what a human mind is capable of. And I’m grateful for my dentist too.

And for the filmmakers! At the end of the film Alex says that the movie might be better if he cries, but honestly, I think the movie is better that he doesn’t.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Mar 6, 2019 - 08:29am PT
Fascinating it is to contemplate a female free solo of El Cap Freerider.



EDIT

What, too soon?

:)
fragglerockjoe

Trad climber
space-man from outer space
Mar 7, 2019 - 03:51pm PT
Badass ! The angle of the video on the last pitches is incredible. Also thanks for the beta on the boulder problem. The movie is rad.
Ian Jewell

climber
Mar 7, 2019 - 04:42pm PT
Re: Free Solo

Holy F*#k ! anyone drops me 30 feet thru a grigri and it's one of two things ...

1) I would never, ever climb with them again, and would have a really hard time even tolerating their presence.

2) I am the absolute world's biggest idiot for trusting the newbie after not schooling them properly (and I mean PROPERLY), and not tying a stopper knot myself.

HOLY F*#K !

Dropping someone thru a grigri is ... stop the f*#king presses, nuclear bomb, evacuate the building and take 3 months to remove all the asbestos ... type sh#t.


Belaying properly, teaching new partners to belay properly, freaking out on people when they're not doing so, cultivating a level of seriousness around the topic ... blah, blah, blah, you know what i'm getting at.

I know the discussion of the incident is edited footage, the incident wasn't even part of the film, so i have no frame of reference on how the incident occured, how the parties involved processed the incident, etc., but i hope to f*#k they took it way more seriously than it played out in the film.

I know people who have been dropped (as i'm sure many of us do), one in particular whose life was pretty drastically altered as a result of the incident. That sh#t is no joke.

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Mill Valley, Ca
Mar 7, 2019 - 04:47pm PT
not tying a stopper knot myself.

-with an inexperienced partner is inexplicable. End of story.
kingtut

climber
Jingus Newroutaineer
Mar 7, 2019 - 04:59pm PT
I know people who have been dropped (as i'm sure many of us do), one in particular whose life was pretty drastically altered as a result of the incident. That sh#t is no joke.

The fault is clearly shared but Alex used ie a 60m rope on a route that needed a 70m to lower off safely and Sanni probably was too dependent on Alex to not think through being aware of such things herself and just assumed a world class expert climber had it covered etc.

Every belayer needs to take ownership of that stuff from the get go, but given the dynamic of Alex v. Sanni and the vast gulf of experience and ability between them the fault mostly lies with Alex for not properly instructing her etc. I believe he admits as much...
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Mar 7, 2019 - 07:49pm PT
Has anyone seen comments by Wayne Merry about FREE SOLO? I would love to hear what he thought of the movie.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2019 - 03:57am PT
...the fault mostly lies with Alex for not properly instructing her etc. I believe he admits as much...


Alex writes:

"I didn’t really blame her—I should have asked how long the rope was, tied a knot in the end, and been generally more attentive. It was obviously her fault, since the rope went through her hands. But as the vastly more experienced climber, it was really my responsibility to make sure we didn’t get into that kind of situation."

Honnold, Alex. Alone on the Wall (Expanded edition) (pp. 214-215). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Mar 8, 2019 - 06:55am PT
I wonder sometimes about the influence of images, stories and videos that depict free soloing--or unroped climbing as it's more commonly practiced. At a coffee shop in Bishop a couple of years ago, a young barista was hyper excited about going to do her first "solo"--Cathedral Peak. I had no idea about how much roped climbing experience she had. That wasn't long after that young man died soloing Matthes Crest. Just last year, a young friend of ours, a woman in her early twenties, did her first "solo" on Cathedral Peak, no doubt encouraged by her boyfriend. This particular ascent of course made it onto social media with a pic of her far off the deck and some line about being so grateful for the experience. I found this ascent to be extraordinarily unwise. She'd only been climbing a couple of years and had done very little traditional climbing and virtually no alpinism. She didn't crash and burn, which we're extremely grateful for. I wonder, however, if she would have even tried it if the climb were truly SOLO. When you're out there totally alone, no emotional support or encouragement from others, it's a different game. I dabbled in unroped climbing and some solo alpinism. My technical rock solos are very limited, but I did them with years of experience under my belt, including some grade V's and one El Cap route. If anyone is thinking of getting into the unroped game, they'd do well to consider how much care, practice and experience Honnold et al. put into it.

For some perspective, read this:

https://www.outsideonline.com/2376791/grand-teton-national-park-rangers-PTSD?fbclid=IwAR0rCpZYt3VZiv_kXC_XNVx7wxRv_5XdqWunBDVHmYSIrrp6lvKVDdsUZc8

BAd
john hansen

climber
Mar 10, 2019 - 09:29pm PT
I saw it that night. It was great. Wonder how many times he practiced the

'karate kick move' and nailed it. Was he 10 for 10 on top rope before he went for it? He seemed very confident from there to the summit. Such control..

The changing thumbs move was pretty friggen hairy just by itself.

A true zen master.
Trump

climber
Mar 11, 2019 - 12:58pm PT
Ricky Bobby: Wait, Dad. Don’t you remember the time you told me “If you ain’t first, you’re last”?
Reese Bobby: Huh? What are you talking about, Son?
Ricky Bobby: That day at school.
Reese Bobby: Oh hell, Son, I was high that day. That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth.
Ricky Bobby: What? I’ve lived my whole life by that!

I’m glad Alex never got the clarification, and glad Sanni never needed to. They make a good team.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 11, 2019 - 04:24pm PT
"The changing thumbs move was pretty friggen hairy just by itself"


I can't imagine doing that with all that space below you. Not sure I could have done it BITD if it was a foot above the ground.
kingtut

climber
Jingus Newroutaineer
Mar 11, 2019 - 05:12pm PT
^^^ Pretty sure you could have, BITD strength-wise, Ser Gill.

Climbers really aren't so much stronger as having better footwear and previously feared/incomprehensible dragons have been slayed as each new psychological barrier is broken.

As you are likely more than aware, its better gear and greater numbers participating that have led to the slow breaking of athletic records over the last 100 years. Not that the new breed of cat is really any different than athletes of old.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Mar 11, 2019 - 06:26pm PT
MGuzzy, thanks for the link. It took me to the NYT piece by... Daniel Duane. I had missed that.

"Vanishingly few elite climbers make careers out of free-soloing, and plenty call it irresponsible and deplorable, but in their heart of hearts they all recognize it as the final word in bad-assery."

"The changing thumbs move was pretty friggen hairy just by itself"


I can't imagine doing that with all that space below you

Not even in my dreams. Even grabbing a huge god-hold like that "weird ear" Alex at some point refers to high on the route would give me the heebie jeebies imagining just my luck it might break off. Out of this world.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Mar 11, 2019 - 06:37pm PT
My mind trying to picture soloing Freerider is like my eyes trying to look at the sun.
Brobdignagian

Sport climber
Phoenix, AZ
Mar 18, 2019 - 10:01am PT
My understanding has been that a Producer is the "owner" or principal shareholder - the Executive Producer sometimes gets that title for being a large shareholder/funder, but not necesarily involved in execution. The Director is like the CEO - having to oversee the whole damn thing from start to finish, all the departments & staff etc.

So a producer can either be not involved at all, or very involved, working with the director.

Just my ignorant opinion on something I know little about.
WBraun

climber
Mar 18, 2019 - 10:29am PT
My mind trying to picture soloing Freerider is like my eyes trying to look at the sun.

When done correctly it is done with no side effects .....
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