Well a lot of things are different. The most obvious is that I'm stronger now than when I started soloing. I'm climbing a number harder, so things are just a little easier. Not getting pumped makes everything feel much more secure." … As for taming fear, I'm not sure if I'd phrase it like that. The first time I jugged I was gripped. It was the West Face of Leaning Tower in the Valley—super exposed, overhanging. But after doing a few more walls it became routine. The first time I soloed it was a little scary. Everyone says, "If your foot pops you die," or "What if you get stung by a bee?! You'd die." One by one I had all those things happen to me. I've blown feet, had birds come out of cracks, had bats hiss (which always scares the shit out of me), and nothing ever came of it. You go up there and climb—sometimes you get off route or sometimes it's dirtier than you'd like, but you either push through it or climb down. Nothing dramatic; nothing crazy; certainly never really "do or die" not to say that can't happen, and if it does you're in a bad way."
Ray Jardien in response to Honnold Interview:
I seconded the Phoenix once, and I was surprised how much easier it was. When on the lead I always sewed it up, so it was much harder placing the pro on the lead … Everything we do has some element of risk. People die getting out of bed. In fact, most people die in bed. So I'm not one to say that free soloing is too dangerous. It's a personal thing, not subject to anyone's all-mighty judgment. The person doing the judging is not safe either.
I think I can prove my point, that as time goes by climbing with a rope becomes more secure in one way and more dangioiurs in another, possibly to compensate so you can get the same amount of adrenalin rush, or perceptual danger that you had when you first started climbing. That climbing is dangerous with a rope because almost unperceptually you could end up soloing. Another problem Hommold has is that he is running out of hard climbs. If he can climb 5.13 on lead without falling, just how many climbs is he left with that he can do under pressure? In this way today for people like Hommold, climbing changes rapidly, a level of difficulty has disappeared for Honnold, where the only way he will ever see it again is by soloing. Climbing with a rope is dangerous; you could be tempted to solo if you get too good at it.
Another thing going on there is a level of over confidence. You cannot compare soloing one grade down and on ever smaller holds to "getting out of bed" or "nothing crazy". This proves my point about our natural tendency to say climbing is safe. If anything these guys should be admitting is that they are getting more dangerous not more safe. But they are not. Soloing is dangerous like driving without brakes, not like driving with them. Perhaps it would be a good idea to temper ones ideas with people who have never climbed to get a realistic perspective.
None of us have much of a past nor can see into the future beyond death by a scientific method. We can't bring up photographs, it is a matter of faith. It is something unknown by Ray's perception. But Ray even goes so far as to say he knows for a fact that death is not "not subject to anyone's all-mighty judgment". Being that the argument for evolution and creation can be argued to have the same amount of factual proof I think it can be argued that overconfidence many times comes with climbing here. Ray says he used to solo, but stopped after he slipped once on a 5.11 while soloing.
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