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#58401 - 06/30/11 05:41 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: curmudgeon]
Dana Offline
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
Did that happen to Dan? I climbed with him a bit, and I distinctly remember him saying he had soloed ED and he had no trouble. Perhaps it was DJP?

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#58402 - 06/30/11 05:45 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Dana]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I heard the same story except that the climber was DJP. an added detail was that it was seeping or wet in a critical place (above the 3rd pitch overhang) which gave the trouble.

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#58404 - 06/30/11 06:28 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: phlan]
curmudgeon Offline
addict

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 466
Right it was Don not Dan.

Sorry my memory ain't what it used to be.

Don must have seen GOD that day!


Edited by curmudgeon (06/30/11 06:42 PM)

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#58433 - 07/01/11 04:54 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: charliebutters]
stoopid Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 67
Loc: West Sand Lake, NY
Originally Posted By: charliebutters


Honold is one of the few modern climbers I follow to any degree. It's part fascination, part respect. He comes off as awkward until you read enough interviews, and you get a better idea of who he actually is. We did see him that day at the Gunks out near Bunny, but opted to leave him alone as he was already being acosted by climber #41992. It will be interesting to see the 60 Minutes interview when it's finally put together and aired.

So I'm not against free soloing, it just seems out of place in The Gunks. One of the complaints by a member of my party is that they "really don't want to watch someone die today", and I do have to agree that it's a tad selfish of the climber, knowing there's a real risk for an accident which more than likely will result in a hideous death, to do it in front of people. I've one other time seen a free soloing climber two or three pitches up on a neighboring route, and it was early season late in the afternoon on a weekday. Prior to that, many climbs without ever seeing one.

I haven't slipped or fell on a 5.5 ever. But you won't see me heading up one without a rope. Especially with all the unknowns looming above me on the cliff.

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#58434 - 07/01/11 04:58 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
stoopid Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 67
Loc: West Sand Lake, NY
Side note - I appreciate all the responses to this, as they are all well thought out and expressed. It's rare on the internet to have a place with differing views remain as civil as this one generally does (the exception seems to be when money matter related to Mohonk are raised, particular the neighborhood association and that drama). This is a nice place to talk about climbing. smile

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#58468 - 07/02/11 05:48 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
Rockanice Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/99
Posts: 146
Loc: New York
"full head of hair" - I guess my re-definition over the years has evolved as more and more of mine has disappeared!
My eyesight ain't what it used to be either. Never met Donald, but having led the third pitch of his Vultures Know route in the Nears, I can believe he doesn't lack a set of cojones.

edit-spelling


Edited by Rockanice (07/02/11 05:50 PM)

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#58469 - 07/02/11 09:50 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rockanice]
worthrussell Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/11/10
Posts: 90
Loc: NY, Brooklyn
I saw the guy soloing fH and i bolted. I said nothing but he certainly didn't look all that confident. If i were to free solo, which i wouldn't, i would make damn well sure that i was comfortable and confident on the route. He had thick glasses and hiking boots and seemed to be down climbing and reassessing his situation way too much. Ballsy yes brainy hmmmmmm

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#58470 - 07/02/11 10:42 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: worthrussell]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Orange Cty, NY

The oft quoted Bill Ravitch..... "Don't be a witness."

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#58472 - 07/03/11 12:22 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
Dana Offline
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
Bill R. was often quoted, true, but he would occasionally give demostrations, as well.
Bill and and I would occasionally finish the day by doing Retribution and Nosedive. One fine day we done just this and as we were rappeling off Nosedive a party set up a toprope on Retribution.
One of the climbers was gettin winched up the route but all the way up - as far as she got - she was telling everyone within earshot that the moves weren't all that hard, lots of big holds, etc. This continued after she lowered off, and it was clear Bill was getting really annoyed at this presumption. When she hit the ground and told her friends that it wasn't really 5.10, that maybe next time she would lead it - that was just too much.
Bill put his EBs back on, soloed 10 feet past the crux, and then downclimbed back to the ground. Not much for the crowd to say, of course, but when Bill got back to the base, he looked this woman in the eye - she was still standing there - and said: "I don't know. It seemed like 5.10 to me."

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#58476 - 07/03/11 03:54 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Dana]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Free soloing has been an intrinsic part of climbing since its very beginnings and isn't "out of place" anywhere, certainly not in the Gunks, which has a very long history of extensive free solos in every era, going all the way back to the first days.

When I first came to the Gunks, it was common for many climbers to spend some time free soloing easy routes, very often, as Rick mentions, in large and sometimes boisterous groups. Whatever level you climbed at, it was fairly common to free solo two to three grades easier, and free-solo downclimbs, e.g. Three Pines and Silly Chimney, were a common method to descend from many hard routes (a practice which, in retrospect, appears to have been far safer than rappelling has turned out to be).

The practice seems to have declined in the last 20-30 years. Some reasons might be

(1) The separation of rock climbing from mountaineering, which may involve essentially free soloing much of the time even with a rope on.

(2) An enormous and ongoing accumulation of safety procedures, safety knowledge, and safety equipment that makes it possible for those who want to limit their risks to enjoy the sport. With far less knowledge and much more primitive equipment, an earlier generation had to rely more on their own competence, so the transition to free soloing was not as big a step as it may seem now.

(3) The advent of protection ratings made it possible for climbers to avoid risky situations they dealt with far more regularly before those ratings.

(4) The advent of sport climbing established the notion of almost completely separating risk and difficulty and drew people to the sport with an aversion to the former and a passion for the latter.

Personally, I think that free soloing ought to be a private encounter between the climber and the rock, and it is wrong to purposely do it in front of people who have not chosen to observe the event. Doing it for an audience introduces all kinds of unholy psychological cross-currents, a situation exacerbated by those who want to market soloing feats for commercial gain.

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