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#58673 - 07/09/11 12:21 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: GOclimb]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
Originally Posted By: GOclimb
In free soloing, as in any other climbing, people can be more or less cautious...He almost fell, and beat himself up over his own recklessness...I guess my point is that we all know that some climbers are more cautious, and others seem totally oblivious to their own ineptitude. As a rule, we condemn the roped climbers who we see doing ridiculous things but defend the unroped ones. I don't know if I could ever condemn someone for soloing any more than I'd condemn someone for roped climbing. But perhaps we could draw a finer distinction and admit that some folks, whether roped or unroped, do dumb things, make poor decisions, and in very rare cases might even be a clueless fool.

GO


agreed. for the most part. except that i dont think most people condemn the clueless roped climber more than the clueless unroped climber. clueless is clueless and reckless is reckless. but soloing in and of itself is hardly any more reckless unless it is. i would be personally just as critical of an inept, clueless/ignorant, or downright reckless soloist as i would of a similarly roped climber.

like bachar in largo's story i think many climbers who engage in soloing routinely have a moment at some point where they push it a little too far and have to have the hypercritical conversation with themselves. its important to be constantly reflexive in that way; to evaluate your ability and mindset, and keep an open mind about how far is too far. but i think thats true of climbing in general - and i think a lot of people dont do this.

i think the guy in your link - described as drunk, despondent and possibly suicidal over a failed relationship - could have been doing any one of a number of things other than soloing that could or would have ended in his death, injury, and involvement of 'innocent bystanders' - he just happened to be a climber, and chose soloing instead of train tracks, a building balcony, reckless drunk driving, or any one of a number of other ways to almost try and kill oneself

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#58675 - 07/09/11 12:37 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Coppertone]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
Originally Posted By: Coppertone
I think this is a great topic for discussion and many of us who respect each others opinions can agree to disagree.

As far as I'm concerned once you are no longer solo and have children depending upon you to be there in their lives as they grow up and when they grown up the decision to solo is a completely different one. You can rationalize it all you want that those who solo do so well with in their abilities, are extremely focused and are very safe but that still doesn't change the fact that any small mistake or external intrusion that would be inconsequential when climbing on rope could easily mean death when soloing. Also comparing a soldier, fireman or policeman to a soloist is really not a fair comparison. All of those are professions that are not only supporting ones family but are also serving an extremely important public service. While some climbers do so for a living, do they have to solo to earn a living? Again I think that soloing absolutely has its place in climbing and when done right is about as pure as it gets. That said there are responsibilities in this world that trump your personal desire to solo and express yourself. If you don't have children then you may not really be able to have the perspective to view it that way and if you do have children and still think soloing is ok to do then we can just disagree.

Either way this has turned into a pretty interesting thread.


for sure this turned out to be a good thread. and agreed that its a topic where i think a lot of us can agree to disagree.

i dont think anyone is arguing that margin isnt smaller for soloing - we all know it is. i think the question really is whether or not the distinction - as far as selfishness or recklessness or appropriateness - is one of kind or more one of scale. i argue its a difference in scale, and as a result of the fact that that scale isnt very clear, its hard to condemn soloing over any other form of climbing when practiced well.

it seems that both you and rich suggested that in addition to eliminating soloing, you've also cut back on the hard and scary runouts. this to me suggests we actually agree more than disagree - that the rope offers a sliding scale of protection. and isnt categorically 'safer' than soloing.

the point about the cop, soldier, firefighter is an interesting one. and to be honest i hadnt originally considered the social hero or 'altruism' aspect. i'm not sure it absolves you of your choice if you get killed in the line of duty. you still have a choice dont you? in other words you might choose a life of service even if it means you might leave your kids without a parent. but you decide that its worth it because you might help others. but someone might continue to solo with kids because they decide its worth it because of what they get out of it. so now we're making a value judgement about potentially abstract societal benefit being worth getting killed over, but what might be called personal betterment being selfish. i can see your point for sure, and i'm not arguing that i definitely disagree, but i'm not convinced either. dead is dead if the argument is about being there for your kids.

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#58715 - 07/12/11 04:12 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: stoopid]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Here's the video of Dan Osman's free solo speed ascent of Bear's Reach on Lover's Leap. That video was the first I had heard of him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e0yXMa708Y

I suspect the following video, solo of the same route with a helmet cam, may have been inspired by Dano's video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xc2xr7mGH4

The climb looked like so much fun, it inspired me to spend my vacation in Tahoe. I climbed Bear's Reach with my kids today, it was as fun as it looked... however we took much longer and had lots of gear with us...

Jannette

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#58718 - 07/12/11 01:29 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: Jannette]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Way to go Jannette.

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#58722 - 07/12/11 04:13 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: chip]
acdnyc Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 208
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
This isn't climbing but is this close to Soloing in another medium. The performer explains why she did it.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/12/aerialist-seanna-sharpe_n_895545.html
_________________________
jugs or mugs

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#58729 - 07/12/11 10:50 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: rg@ofmc]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.



"...it is wrong to purposely do it in front of people who have not chosen to observe the event."

I don't really follow this line of thought because it seems to imply that it becomes the climbers responsibility not to disturb anyone who might be watching. I am sure that there are climbers who feel uncomfortable being near someone who has chosen to run it out or lead an R or X rated route in the same way that a hiker on the carriage road might get nauseated by seeing someone rapelling.

"Doing it for an audience..." Perhaps the difference lies within the motivation. Climbing for an audience, whether it's soloing/bouldering/trad climbing I suppose would necessarily be extrinsically motivated, but the climber who is intrinsically motivated shouldn't feel that they need to practice their climbing in secrecy.

Now Rich, I'm sure you'll have some well thought out reponse that schools me, but I'll probably still solo Ken's crack even if people are walking by. smile

One last thought similar to what Terrie and others brought up but I just wanted to give my own take: There are climbers who do all sorts of very dangerous things on the cliffs with ropes that make me feel uncomfortable and there are soloists who climb solidly well within their limits that I find a pleasure to watch.

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#58730 - 07/13/11 12:54 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: cfrac]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2470
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Haha, back in the day when the Uberfall used to back up with descending climbers, we used to solo down Ken's Crack.

The Vulgarians also periodically ran the Ken's Crack Speed Trials (top-roped). I think Dick has the record, in some incredibly short time...

Nah, I don't have any well-formed response Chris. I'm not entirely sure I believe what I wrote myself. I do think that when free soloing is done in front of an audience, there is an element of showing-off that is almost unavoidable, and this leaves a bitter taste, sometimes even for the soloist. I also think---no, actually know---that sometimes free-soloing encourages other people to do it, and sometimes these other people really shouldn't be doing it.

I don't know whether the soloist has any responsibility for the bad judgement of those he or she might be encouraging, but I feel better about it if that isn't an issue because there is no one there to see.

I think I've made it clear how much I've personally enjoyed free soloing. I haven't always done it in solitude, but I must say in retrospect that I'd feel better about it if I always had.

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#58731 - 07/13/11 01:15 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: rg@ofmc]
TerrieM Offline
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
I'd love to see a speed trial on Ken's Crack redux(TR, of course - not free solo)! Maybe it could be an "event" on the day the guides offer seminars at the Film Festival weekend....

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#58733 - 07/13/11 04:59 AM Re: Free Soloing [Re: rg@ofmc]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
... we used to solo down Ken's Crack.


Certainly a different era and a different mindset! I used to think that if I was able to go back in time once, in a time machine, I would choose Europe in the 1600's, but now I think I would choose to go back to the Gunks in the Vulgarian days!

What I love most about soloing is that the mindset is reduced to one simple principle (not falling) which means one no longer has to think about falling. This is also the mindset needed in mountaineering, but I think that as the idea of rock climbing as training for climbing mountains continues to evaporate so will the view that soloing has any practical merits.

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#58745 - 07/13/11 09:42 PM Re: Free Soloing [Re: cfrac]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2470
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Sometimes a free soloist can be a physical, not just psychological damage to those watching. Have a look at

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/A-lesson-In-perserverance/t11066n.html

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