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#58312 - 06/28/11 05:21 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2081
Loc: SoCal
What is one to do?

Well, for starters, solo somewhere where you won't traumatize more than 0 un-consenting persons if/when you fall. And I guess even before that, leave some kind of a note indicating where your or your body might be found iff'n you don't return home.

Soloing does not free you from your responsibility to not harm others, or rule #1.

I've indeed shared a rope with the guy in boots ... who is rather "my way or the highway" ...

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#58313 - 06/28/11 05:37 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Julie]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I think it is one thing to see someone attempting to belay/lead or whatever and offer help if they are screwing it up and perhaps endangering themself or a partner. It is altogether another thing for someone to solo or even boulder and that is simply a choice that does not require anyone else's comment or approval. Let them get in the zone and don't distract, please. I also believe this is an endevour that is most rewarding away from the crowds but that is only my take. Clearly, not everyone feels that way and nor should they have to agree.

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#58314 - 06/28/11 05:38 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1040
Loc: hamlet's hand
Originally Posted By: chip
Soloing was much more common when I first started...Many very good climbers could be seen at times soloing


The summer of '85, the summer Clune and Gruenberg had their little tete-a-tete to solo the superclassics (Foops, Open Cockpit, Supercrack, Yellow Wall), everyone was soloing. Bachar's buzz was all over the mainstream media (Outside mag cover).

I happened to be in a group who talked to Jeff right after he soloed the Yellow Wall. One of those weird days of a million synchronicities.

I was in Slime talking to the Aussies who were passing around the Outside issue with Bachar. I tagged along with Louise Shepherd ("Come along with us, you'll get pumped"; what a sweetheart) and Geoff Weigand: Nurse's Aid warm-up (sheesh), Wasp Stop (short-person's crux: she sandbagged him), The Sting. Raffa shows up, suggests they go to NH to try Tourist Treat, after Lynn had worked the FFA. Clune shows up to take pics. Frank Minnuni shows up to try on on-sight with a pair of out-of-the-box Kalma's (Clune's Gunks Select pic). I'm in total fly-on-the-wall mode.

We head back to the Uberfall, hook up with Kim Carrigan, when Jeff comes back down the carriage road with nothing but his shoes and chalk-bag. Carrigan complains to him about some 12- being a sandbag, then asks Jeff where he'd been. "Uh, soloing the Yellow Wall." Not bragging, just reporting.

Silence.
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it's Sha-WAN-gunk.

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#58316 - 06/28/11 05:49 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: yorick]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
'Scuse me while I pull my bottom jaw back up off the desk. That kind of talent and mindset is what makes such a rare individual.
Still, it does illustrate how safely many top climbers were able to solo regularly. Even so, it only takes a momentary lapse or that little foot slip to change things permanently.

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#58321 - 06/28/11 06:14 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1040
Loc: hamlet's hand
Originally Posted By: chip
Still, it does illustrate how safely many top climbers were able to solo regularly.


What blows me away is how none of them got hurt here during that whole '80s era, pushing the highest end of X-ratings, right up to Scotty soloing Survival.
_________________________
Shongum ain't Indian,
it's Sha-WAN-gunk.

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#58363 - 06/29/11 09:48 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: yorick]
TerrieM Online   content
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 417
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
I think it seems surprising to people at the Gunks, on a weekend, because it is such a busy place. But whenever I go to Joshua Tree, which is also very busy but more dispersed, I see people free-soloing all the time, and nobody thinks anything of it. For sure some of those routes are much more committing that someone doing one of the easier(for them) Gunks routes, with the various ledge systems.

My opinion? Unless the free soloist is climbing through while someone else is on a route, they have every right to do climb. Someone mentioned non-consenting but..... the same could be said for seeing any number of clusterf888 dangerous situations any weekend at the Gunks. Is the 5-whatever free solo at 4-5 grades below their lead limit REALLY any more dangerous that the fresh-from-the gym, with a stop at REI for a rack n rope, 5whatever gym climber leading at their gym limit grade? I don't think so....

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#58368 - 06/30/11 01:17 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: phlan]
Rockanice Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/99
Posts: 146
Loc: New York
Three of us were climbing Pas De Deux when he started up Frog's Head. He climbed up a bit and waited for another party to rap down, then climbed up with his sneaker boots on. I figured it was probably not his first time on the route and that he knew where he was going. After he moved through that lower crux, I expected him to pretty much cruise to the top, but he didn't. he stopped at the first belay chains and seemed in no hurry to finish. He spent some time looking up at the second pitch but didn't opt to try. I wondered if he was second-guessing his decision to third class the route in his sneaker-boots.
After a while, my partner wanted to ask him if he wanted any help. I had been discouraging him from talking to the guy as he was kind of aloof. I felt like I didn't want to embarass him or steal his mojo somehow. I felt it was important not to undermine any of that confident feeling a soloist must keep alive in order to keep alive. The guy had moved right through that lower crux after all. On the one hand, I wanted to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but on the other, I didn't want anyone to die for their vanity's sake. Pride cometh before the fall, as they say. I relented and my buddy just called up casually, "Want a rope?"
Predictably he declined. Soon after he traversed over to Maria, but inexplicably kept traversing around the arete past Maria looking for a way up in the munge. Having traversed out of sight, out of mind, I was a little surprised when he reappeared later on back on the GT ledge above Frog's Head. He eventually traversed all the way over to the Easy O ledge.
Holy smokes, that has to be harder than finishing Frog's Head. Go figure. Kudos, though I gotta say I was a little worried for him when he started gunning for Easy O.

Donald is bald, right? This guy had a full head of hair.

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#58378 - 06/30/11 12:43 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rockanice]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2776
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I guess he's got a somewhat receding hairline? and he wears heavy leather mountain boots - sounds like it was someone else?
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#58386 - 06/30/11 03:10 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: phlan]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 815
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
I think he was outed and then fessed up on his Northern Millbrook Grand Traverse thread. Like many of us, I wouldn't consider his a "full head of hair".

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#58395 - 06/30/11 04:12 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Rickster]
curmudgeon Online   content
addict

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 449
Dan McMillan once had to be rescued from a climb after getting spooked.He was trying to solo Erect Direction and got up in the corner on the last pitch and freaked out. Rope please!

EDIT...Meant to say it was DJP not Dan.

Sorry Dan you're the man!


Edited by curmudgeon (06/30/11 06:49 PM)

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