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#58287 - 06/28/11 11:14 AM Free Soloing
stoopid Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 67
Loc: West Sand Lake, NY
What's the deal with free soloing? Sunday someone climbed Frog's Head in boots. We were worried he was climbing up to jump off (he arrived at the climb by cane and was ignoring the other climbers trying to speak with him).

Is this acceptible? Should we have said something? I realize a few people do it on TV, but I don't expect them to live long. I feel like I had the potential to help in that situation but didn't want to be a wet blanket if this was something he did 10 times a week. But he was ignoring people so... WTF?


Edited by stoopid (06/28/11 11:17 AM)

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#58289 - 06/28/11 11:55 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
Free Will baby...

If the guy looked really nuts and sketchy then I'd probably say something and offer to drop him a line. But if he was solid on that initial polished section of FH in boots then I'd just clear the landing area and watch the show.

That's really the only thing that does bother me about free soloing on crowded routes is the potential of their fall to kill other climbers/people below. On FH you often will have a gaggle of idiots with dogs and babies milling around right at the base oblivious to gravity.

Now if he brought his cane with him up the route... That would be badass!

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#58292 - 06/28/11 12:18 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: fear]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
There is long quiet history of free soloing in the Gunks. The practitioners however, don't necessarily advertise or carry on about it.

I would hazard to say, it is a more widespread practice than one would suspect.

The concerns voiced about the possible outcome should things go wrong while free soloing are extremely valid.

Stay safe.

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#58294 - 06/28/11 12:34 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3763
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I would question someones need to solo in front of a crowd. In soloing, motivation is everything, and if that motivation is not pure.......

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#58296 - 06/28/11 12:43 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: RangerRob]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2776
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I'm sure I know who it was, and sometimes he is prone to showboating esp. under certain circumstances. I posted previously about an incident "the serpent satan fell from the sky": sometimes he solos with a rope tied around his waist. he never wears climbing shoes only heavy mountain boots. there was a bit of a crowd around that day too, and they were positively flabbergasted. that's what it can be like to climb with The Donald... (i tried to reassure the spectators that this was "normal.")
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#58300 - 06/28/11 01:33 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
charliebutters Offline
addict

Registered: 11/11/01
Posts: 510
Loc: accord

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#58304 - 06/28/11 03:12 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: charliebutters]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Soloing was much more common when I first started, which re-inforced my concern that I maybe wasn't a real climber (It only took one long 15 minutes stuck on a slimy, rounded top-out in mid-summer to make me realize it wasn't for me). Many very good climbers could be seen at times soloing and I see no reason why it shouldn't be accepted without comment. It is just another type of climbing. I agree that I wouldn't want to stand around underneath.

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#58309 - 06/28/11 03:34 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: chip]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5935
Loc: 212 land
I recall doing a fair amount of this after not finding a partner. What else is one to do?
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#58310 - 06/28/11 03:44 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: oenophore]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I think that was the common theme to much of the soloing, I know it was for me. It now seems more of an intentional activity in and of itself.

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#58311 - 06/28/11 04:18 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: chip]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Free soloing might be considered extreme bouldering. Just climbing through, no stop and go, no extra gear, no rope issues, no partner issues, and of course far less room for error which forces one to be extremely focused. Which for me was an issue in itself.
Strange how much of our soloing was in groups, as stupid as that was, made worse by the fact it was usually at the end of the day.

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