Soloing

Other Crags, Aid Climbing, Bouldering, etc...
andy_lemon
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Post by andy_lemon » Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:47 am

You should hold a clinic during Derby Fest on soloing trees... that would be interesting. You could use your dog as a crashpad, he is big enough. It sure wouldn't hurt him.
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Wes
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Post by Wes » Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:58 am

canadaclimbergirl wrote:please.....You have to agree that soloing is FAR more risky than rapping off and cleaning anchors. Yes...people get killed everyday by doing things FAR LESS risky than soloing....EXACTLY my point.
Actually, I feel soloing is usually safer then cleaning anchors or rapping. Here is why: People that solo pay attention to what the are doing. They really pay attention to the climbing. Where as people that are cleaning anchors and rapping don't always have their attention where it needs to be. Which is why they forget to tie back in, tie bad knots, or rap off the end of the rope.

I have seen many more scary scenes with people on ropes then I have with people free soloing. Maybe you should direct your at the crag riot act reading to gumbies who try to climb before the really know what they are doing and to experenced climbers who start getting compliecent. They are the ones that are going to need to be carried out.

I want to do the OR route on whitesides. First pitch is a hunderd and some feet of 5.7. No pro. I am selfish and stupid to want to do that route, even though the first pitch a free solo?

Maybe you all just like the security of percieved risk vs. actual risk. You can say to yourself "free soloing is very dangerous, but I have a rope so I am safe". But that just isn't true.

The other thing I don't understand is the anti spraying part. I mean, if it is cool for me to spray about some route I sent, then why is it not cool for me to spray about a free solo? I solo for the same reasons I climb, mine. Those reasons evolve and change over time, but they are the same.

Final note: I will be damned if I have to ask someones fucking permision to climb in my chosen style.

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Post by Artsay » Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:34 am

Wes - FYI, the first pitch of the OR has a fixed pin about 30 or so feet up and it's easy slab climbing. And you can get some gear after that. The pitch with no pro is like the fifth or something (I forget exactly) and it's 150ft traverse that's as easy as walking down the street.

I knew this guy who was a 5.13 sport climber and he decided to start free soloing. He did a couple of easy sport routes and sprayed like mad about it at Miguel's. It was kind of weird and a lot of people gave him shit about it.

*Usually* people who free solo are secure with their climbing abilities and aren't pushing their limits on the climbs they chose to free solo. I think they're just confident people who enjoy the free, uninhibited, focused movements. My feeling is that these people are very confident and secure and don't need the superficial confidence booster that spraying about it gives them. I believe the ones that do need to spray about are just lost souls in search of praise and approval. Note: Telling your friends and spraying to strangers are two totally different things.

I saw this guy free solo a 1000ft frozen waterfall. Locals said that that's just what he does. He was done climbing the thing in about the time it would've taken a fast climber to do the first 200ft. It was awesome to watch.

Depending on the scenario (climber, conditions, etc.) watching someone free solo can be an exhilarating or exhausting situation. I'm not in complete opposition to it but I do think that some people do it for the wrong reasons.
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Post by Christian » Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:50 am

TK wrote:Here is another perspective :

I enjoy climbing long multi pitch routes. I take climbing vacations out west. I climb at crags, I climb mountains, I climb rock, ice, and snow. On mountains its not unusual to run into long sections of unprotected climbing on super classic routes. ...

If you don’t want to face these obstacles then stay at your home crag and follow where others have gone before you. Climb only as far as your eye can see. Always assume you are on the right path. Never dare to ask what is around the next corner or over the next bulge. Don’t explore for new opportunities or avenues ( that will leave more for me). Go only where those have gone before you, but stay off of Foxfire with all that imaginary gear. There is nothing wrong with that. Whatever floats your boat.

Yes. It's as selfish as all climbing is. You won't get that geni back in the bottle. I've tried.

Amen Merrick and others.

For those that have and will post pro comments, climb on brother, climb on!


Respectfully yours,

TK
TK That is a balanced,wellreasoned explanation of why you free solo. I omitted several paragraphs of your post to save spacebut they flesh out your point which is a good one. My opinion about the big question:whether people should or shouldn't free solo is, to me, irrelevant.
When I first heard about it I jumped to judgment about your sanity and ego. I kept these thoughts to myself but now I question neither your sanity or your ego. I know you have to be relieved to now pass judgmentby this gumby. Climb on.
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Post by wanderer » Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:37 pm

Soloing is just as enticing as anything else, but there are only those select few who can't resist that urge and just have to go for it and eventually start pushing their limits. It's mysterious if you haven't ever done it which always leads to doubts and questions. Before I ever begain roped climbing I soloed all over a place called Garden of The Gods in Southern Illinois. Most of the stuff I did would probably max out at 5.4, but the height factor was still there. This place had potential for some very hard climbing, but has been closed (for reasons I have yet to learn) to any type of climbing where equipment is involved, including bouldering pads. I don't know what the exact status is for non roped climbing at GOTG, but I've been told (don't know reliability of info) that you can't be prevented from non-roped/equipment climbing in general. Now that I've begain sport climbing and have aged a few years, I know the dangers involved in what I was doing back then. Holds could have broke, tennis shoes hardly had the necessary grip, and carrying a water jug and camera bag was probably not the best idea either. But, those are the days of our lives and everyone has the right to do as they please and talk about it to whomever the want. It may be considered spray when these people talk about their ascents, but sometimes it's just a matter of wanting to share their experiences and may have no self inflating ego purposes behind it.

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Post by Christian » Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:40 pm

Wes you have my permission to climb in your chosen style.
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Post by Danny » Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:01 pm

I can relate to both sides of the argument. I don't want other people to solo because I don't want them to get hurt but I still do myself. I don't mind if people tell me not to because I understand where they are coming from. If you must do it Id suggest doing really easy stuff that you've done a million times and are super comfy on. The biggest danger is fear (not chossy holds or bird shit) which can make you climb like shit and die. Don't solo something that scares you.

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Post by kentuckysarah » Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:10 pm

Whether you solo or not is completely up to you. Soloing is something you should only do for yourself. However, while I think this, I am not comfortable being around someone soloing because it really makes me nervous and I don't want to be there if they fall. Then again this can easily happen when someone is cleaning anchors or rapping, and sometimes that makes me nervous too when the climber doesn't act like they know what they're doing.

But if you have the urge to solo and you are a good climber and are not being pushed to solo by someone else, then go ahead and do it. Just make sure you are only doing it for yourself.
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Post by Gretchen » Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:20 pm

This is such an old debate. It's like reviving the ol' Dan Osmond crap. In life there is action & reaction, cause & effect. I had a really good friend at the age of 19, in Spain, walked off a curb and was splattered by a bus, you never know. You can live life with the nasty "what if's" or you waive a certain amount of caution to see your next thrill. I have watched friends solo and I have been comfortable with that. Only person in my life grounded from soloing is BBerlier, he has to hold my hand!
Just genuinely disengenuous.

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Post by Power2U » Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:32 pm

Don't solo at the Red the rock is way too friable! Enough said.

I can think of plenty of climbs I would be comfortable climbing w/out a rope ability wise but, snap, splat, boom...and it only takes once!

Go somewhere where the odds of the rock breaking off in your hand or under your foot is way less probable. I have a collection of holds from all over the country that have come off in my hand and the numebr that I have from the Red far out number the ones I have from other areas.
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Post by Guest » Mon Oct 20, 2003 3:57 pm

Ain't gravity a bitch!!!

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Post by ynot » Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:49 pm

I quit soloing. I get the same thrill on routes that are really hard for me.Like Lust At First Site. Just cant help obsessing about that route even tho its 3 notches harder than I can redpoint.
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Post by Horatio Felacio » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:53 pm

i knew this dude who liked soloing. he was saying how it's so cool to be way up with only clothes and a chalkbag and climbing shoes. how you feel everything around you and everything you're touching like you're completely aware. how it was cool just climbing move by move, and how every move was as solid as could be and how he never even had the thought of falling or being scared come to mind. sounds pretty cool to me.
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Post by Gretchen » Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:18 am

DUde, we are all for you soloing! I'll bring the video camera just in case!
Just genuinely disengenuous.

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Post by TradMike » Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:13 pm

Caver's Route (5.3) has seen a solo death! It only takes one slip. Just know that you may die if you solo or climb, roped, for that matter. A simple leader fall can also result in death. Climbing, in general, is dangerous. That being said, I am more afraid watching a beginning climber on a sport route than a competent soloist. Competent soloist is OK, incompetent soloist is stupid (death wish). In Yosemite, no true free-soloer has been killed yet, although one, critically hurt, survived only by the speed of his rescue. On the other hand, many roped climbers have perished in Yosemite. I am not condoning soloing and I personally only solo with a soloist. If you feel the need to solo, try solo leading with a soloist. It may give you the fix you feel you need but a lot safer. I enjoy it! But if you still feel the need to solo, I don't mind. Just be smart about it!

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