Alex Honnold – El Sendero Luminoso – free-soloed 2500ft climb

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  • Alex Honnold – El Sendero Luminoso – free-soloed 2500ft climb
  • neilforrow
    Member

    Ok, peterfile put this up yesterday, but got to have it’s own thread.

    Puts those city / crane climbers into perspective.

    take on that with no ropes! FT.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phl82D57P58[/video]

    peterfile
    Member

    He’s something else eh?

    I remember seeing an interview after he did El Cap where he talked about having a word with himself half way up. I have to do that two pitches up and a couple of metres above gear on a bloody Hard Severe!!!!!

    Incredible.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    For someone who does something so extreme he’s such a quiet unassuming guy.

    What do you do if you have had enough halfway up?

    peachos
    Member

    his films scare the shit out of me.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    Puts those city / crane climbers into perspective.

    Indeed. I was trying to explain to a non-climbing friend that all that crane-hanging stuff isn’t really that dangerous and he was having none of it. Think I’ll send him this. Having done my fair share of climbing, and even a little soloing on easy stuff, I still struggle to understand the level of mental control he must have to even contemplate something like this.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    I did likewise and posted it to mates talking about the recent crane climbing video on facebook. I told them ‘real men play on real rock’…

    to be fair on the real close up footage the holds honnold uses arent that small, the look small but arent that bad… until you add in the lack of ropes and the sheer drop! FFS.

    xcgb
    Member

    What if you need the loo halfway up (pretty likely i’d thought!)

    peterfile
    Member

    Having done my fair share of climbing, and even a little soloing on easy stuff, I still struggle to understand the level of mental control he must have to even contemplate something like this.

    +1

    I can second up pretty much anything my buddies are willing to lead, so up to about E3/4. But can only lead HS. Nothing to do with the difficulty of the climb, the moves are just immeasurably harder when there’s a consequence attached to getting it wrong. That’s the beautiful head game of climbing.

    Which is just why I can never get my head round his bigwall solos. The mental control is just on another level. I once read something about a psychological study of Travis Pastrana (or another famous MX rider) seeming to lack the fear element that most people have. That surely can’t also apply to Honnold, or he’d be dead already. He just must possess the most incredible control of his own mind.

    neilforrow
    Member

    to be fair on the real close up footage the holds honnold uses arent that small, the look small but arent that bad… until you add in the lack of ropes and the sheer drop! FFS

    and the wall they are on is 2500ft. Even with ropes that is a long climb.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Dan Osman’s climbs freak me out:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e0yXMa708Y[/video]

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Thanks for sharing that. I loved the peace and patience with which he climbed.

    MrNice
    Member

    I can second up pretty much anything my buddies are willing to lead, so up to about E3/4. But can only lead HS.

    if you’re genuinely seconding E3/4 and not being dragged up on a tight rope then you’re pretty competent and HS should feel very easy. I was always a wuss when leading but that’s a big gap! Are you taking a “leader must not fall” attitude? Getting used to the occasional lob can be quite liberating (so long as your gear placements are solid)

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    Getting used to the occasional lob can be quite liberating (so long as your gear placements are solid)

    Much to the annoyance of the staff, I used to practice lead falls at the wall by climbing til my feet were above the last bolt then jumping off. It was great fun as long as the belayer was paying attention.

    Premier Icon neil the wheel
    Subscriber

    Shouldn’t he be wearing a helmet?

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    What’s he ever done on grit though?

    peterfile
    Member

    if you’re genuinely seconding E3/4 and not being dragged up on a tight rope then you’re pretty competent and HS should feel very easy. I was always a wuss when leading but that’s a big gap! Are you taking a “leader must not fall” attitude? Getting used to the occasional lob can be quite liberating (so long as your gear placements are solid)

    The climbing does feel pretty easy (if I was seconding some of the routes I lead I’d be bored stiff), but I’ve not led enough routes to really feel like I can start to push the technical side yet. I wouldn’t trust half the crap I place, which is part of the reason I don’t like to be rushed placing, hence the easier grades.

    Most of it is scottish multi-pitch stuff and I find even HS is quite committing as a leader (I normally climb with my gf and lead all pitches), but when I’m with my mates I feel I can lead a wee bit harder, or on single pitch stuff.

    It’s weird, I actually feel far more comfortable leading a vertical HVS crack than I do a wandering, polished VDiff, on the basis that I wouldn’t mind taking a lob on the crack where i’d just be hanging from gear, whereas on the vdiff i’d have broken my ankles and knees on stuff before even testing the placement!

    I need to do more single pitch stuff this year and focus more on the climbing.

    But you’re right…i’ve never taken a fall on gear, so that’s still massively in my mind.

    Winter’s not so bad for some reason. I feel more comfortable getting into position to place gear than I do on rock. Which seems mad when I’m sat at home, but it generally just feels better.

    (I should add, the E3/4 was probably a bit misleading since although i have seconded at that grade, they may have just have picked up the grade for being bold, which i wouldn’t have been able to appreciate! I’m absolutely fine seconding stuff like Storm (HVS 5a) at Polldubh, and can fairly convincingly get up Fang (E2 5b), but it always strikes me that I wouldn’t want to be leading. I’m just a wimp 🙂 )

    JCL
    Member

    For someone who does something so extreme he’s such a quiet unassuming guy.

    All about the purity of climbing for him isn’t it. He’s about as “extreme” as a knitting club.

    I just hope he’s never unlucky with a hold that cracks or something out of his control. I’d love him to defy the odds and keep going until he wants to stop. Such a nice kid.

    peterfile
    Member

    All about the purity of climbing for him isn’t it. He’s about as “extreme” as a knitting club.

    I just hope he’s never unlucky with a hold that cracks or something out of his control. I’d love him to defy the odds and keep going until he wants to stop. Such a nice kid.

    Absolutely.

    It would be great to be Honnold, in a bar somewhere in the US with a load of jocks. He’s quite geeky and unassuming…imagine there was some sort of alpha male display going on and the jocks were highlighting how amazing they were compared to “that guy over there”…then Honnold just get the bartender to stick a couple of his videos up on the big screen 🙂

    Spin
    Member

    Dan Osman’s climbs freak me out:

    Damn we’ve just been Danrolled!

    The impressive thing about that is the speed. The route itself is only VS ish.

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    “to be fair on the real close up footage the holds honnold uses arent that small, the look small but arent that bad… until you add in the lack of ropes and the sheer drop! FFS.”

    Isn’t that supposed to be an awful lot of 5.12? That’s well into British 6b so we’d be fairly firmly in E6 country if it were trad, French 7a-c for sport. I wouldn’t have thought there are that many jugs on there, I’ve never found many anyway!

    Spin
    Member

    That’s well into British 6b so we’d be fairly firmly in E6 country if it were trad, French 7a-c for sport

    I believe the crux pitch is F7c. Whether that’s the pitch being referred to I don’t know.

    peterfile
    Member

    The thought of being completely on your own, soloing, over a thousand feet up….and knowing that there’s an F7c pitch coming up…… 😯

    Spin
    Member

    It really beggars belief.

    A while back I did a route on the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado – proper alpine rock, 3500m up and 6 pitches of climbing. The Casual Route, E1 5b in real money. Felt like a big enough adventure for me. ‘Dirty’ Derek Hersey soloed down it in between soloing up an E3 and E4 sometime in the 80’s or 90’s.

    Hope Honnold doesn’t go the same way as Hersey.

    Premier Icon sockpuppet
    Subscriber

    Making my fingertips sweat…

    Spin
    Member

    A while back I did a route on the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado – proper alpine rock, 3500m up. ‘Dirty’ Derek Hersey soloed down it

    Here it is:

    [/url]

    Imagine soloing DOWN an E1 on that!

    Here’s the crux.

    [/url]

    Some people are just cut from a different cloth.

    peterfile
    Member

    A while back I did a route on the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado – proper alpine rock, 3500m up and 6 pitches of climbing. The Casual Route, E1 5b in real money. Felt like a big enough adventure for me. ‘Dirty’ Derek Hersey soloed down it in between soloing up an E3 and E4 sometime in the 80’s or 90’s.

    Seeing your pics and imagining climbing that seems almost otherworldly (decent looking gear on that crux…just a bit…sustained 😉 ). Massive respect.

    Soloing down isn’t something I can attempt to visualise in my head. honestly. it just doesn’t register! Incredible.

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    Yup, it really is mind blowing. I was nervous watching it and it’s not like it’s a completely alien experience for me, it’s like contemplating the big wall routes, sport and solos I’ve done all rolled into one package. Wild.

    Spin
    Member

    Seeing your pics and imagining climbing that seems almost otherworldly (decent looking gear on that crux…just a bit…sustained ). Massive respect.

    There’s only one pitch of E1, the rest is VS/HVS. The face is massive but the lower half is broken so the climbs are mosly on the upper half with a shitty gully approach.

    If you don’t know, Derek Hersey was from Manchester but achieved fame in the states for his hard solos, mainly in Colorado in the 80’s and 90’s. I’d love to have met him, supposedly a really unassuming character which seems to be a common trait for hard soloists. They know that ego has absolutely no place up there.

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    Peter file: I’d probably only justify soloing up something I could imagine down climbing, you know, just in case! Did a few vs and hvs things down at Sennen once and remember climbing up a dripping crack thinking, ooo er this is a bit close to the limit. Had to battle on then! On sight that was so it always feels way more committing than an old favourite.

    Spin
    Member

    From the Wikipedia page on Hersey:

    Hersey was perhaps most famous for his exploits in Eldorado Canyon, but his resumé included many other remarkable ascents (and descents). Among them was his free-solo ascent of Crack of Fear, a sustained 5.10+ off-width route at Lumpy Ridge, Colorado and an amazing effort on the Diamond (a 275-m wall on Longs Peak), when he free-soloed ascents of two routes and downclimbed another in a single day.

    Spin
    Member

    Derek Hersey in action:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3dTIePeRWc[/video]

    MrNice
    Member

    going back a few posts to my exchange with peterfile…

    I was never a bold leader, my best climbing (technically speaking) was on boulder problems with a mat underneath, and I wasn’t especially good then… But from experience of my climbing (and climbing with some very good people) if you want to improve your leading then leading lower grades with the gf on second won’t help (YMMV). Getting confidence in your placements will help a lot as will lots of mileage. And if you have the chance to solo lots of easy routes it will improve your head for making moves you know are easy even if the consequences of failure are bad. I had a bad habit of faffing about, placing more and more gear until I got pumped and had to rest. Mileage on easy routes and easy soloing helped to get in the habit of keeping moving. A dozen diffs & VDiffs after work on a Friday is an amazing way to clear your head of work before the w/e (obviously this is more difficult if you don’t live on the edge of the peak).

    I’m now wanting to get back to it if I can find the time…

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I recently watched a few Reel Rock compilations, there where times I felt a bit sick watching (admittedly I am afraid of heights). Uli Steck did some climbing with Honold, there was some good human interest stuff too as the othe coiners talked about him and the fact he now had a girlfriend ! Steck free soloed the Eiger in under 3 hours where the original ascents with gear took 2 days.

    Massive respect to these guys, just incredible really.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Mrs Spanner used to climb with Derek, as did my brother in law.
    Lovely bloke by all accounts.

    The interview with his mum and dad in the documentary about him is heartbreaking.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    This is our home grown version of the soloing fruitcake [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WzYni4QjOI[/video].
    Julian has never courted publicity but has done loads of astonishing on-sight solo first ascents; he simply doesn’t feel alive unless he’s in a life threatening situation. I climbed with Julian a few times and whilst I used to seek out routes that were necky to lead (as that as what I was good at)I would always try to rationalise and minimise the risk; Jules always sought to maximise it! Just wish I wasn’t such a woose on a bike!

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