Monday, February 10, 2014

This is one of them!

This is one of them!  Exciting things that I have no interest in doing, that is...

1 comment:

  1. Free Soloing, i.e. climbing by yourself free of protection isn't particularly new, but the levels of difficulty being done this way keep increasing. While the entire length of the climb isn't as hard as the depicted section, this guy is climbing 1500 vertical feet with no way to really rest. The section he is climbing is rated 5.12 which is significantly harder than the hardest climbs that were doable when the Yosemite decimal system was invented and significantly harder than most rock climbers will ever be able to accomplish even for short climbs. I'd have to look this guy up, but my guess is he is capable of doing the highest 5.14+ rated routes, although shorter, roped, and so this 5.12 is well within his skill level. I've known people that can climb 5.11 or 5.12 on their best days, routinely free solo 5.9 or 5.10 routes. But always well within their ability. Even so, there is no second chance.

    Only a couple of decades ago, routes of this difficulty were only done via aid climbing, pitons etc. where you would hang on the gear, use webbing ladders etc. to advance. A 3000 foot route like "the nose" on El Capitan would only be done via aid climbing for the hardest sections and could take several days to climb. Even today most climbers will take a few days and sleep on Porta-ledges suspended from the cliff. But then along came a little lady named Lynn Hill. She "freed the nose" climbed it without using gear to advance (just to catch a fall) and then came back to do it in a single day.

    Now via techniques like simul-climbing and stuff speed climbers come along and do these same routes in a couple hours.

    The techniques, equipment and mostly the skill levels have jumped so far its astonishing.