Free Solo

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  • Free Solo
  • whitestone
    Member

    Crikey! Dirty Derek, first met him in around 1981.

    @turboflard – it would be the somewhat tenuous nature of the jams on WC that would be worrying to me.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Crikey! Dirty Derek, first met him in around 1981.

    We may have done this before, you must know Mrs S, her brother and possibly their dad?

    Sue Lee/Brooke as was, Duncan Lee and the late, sorely missed Roy Lee?

    Never had the pleasure of meeting Derek, but I wish I had. He sounds like fun.

    scuttler
    Member

    Take away a wish to impress peers, the film maker, the climbing media coverage. Just him the mountain, nobody else there, nobody else to tell about it who gives a damn about climbing. Would he still do it? Nahhh.

    (Now I’ve seen it) Absolutely 100% he would. Same as Peter Croft and some of the other (now deceased) guys these are driven individuals and it can be a very private affair.

    Edukator
    Member

    Bad example Scuttler, Croft makes a living from amongst other things writing about his extreme expoits. If you’ve heard of him and I’ve heard of him it’s becuase he’s very much a part of the peer pressure and media driven exploit scene.

    Its like dope in cycling, some people dope to become international stars, some dope just to impress their mates on the Sunday chain gang. But they wouldn’t dope with nobody to impress. Taking it a step lower, how many junkies first shoot up alone (and how many end up as junkies because their doctor prescribed them meds that resulted in them being addicted to opium).

    The day these guys are left on a desert island (with no camera or gear and the knowledge that if rescued they can never return to the island or tlak/write about their exploits there) they might spend afternoons bouldering on sea crags and a swim if they fall in because they really do enjoy bouldering. But they wouldn’t be bothered by that 200m overhanging line that no-one has ever seen, or graded and written pages about in the mag all the hip climbers read.

    scuttler
    Member

    But they wouldn’t be bothered by that 200m overhanging line that no-one has ever seen, or graded and written pages about in the mag all the hip climbers read.

    Leave them long enough and they would. They’d boulder, DWS, check out an easier line, push through a bit more all the time eyeing up the obvious line up the big cliff – you’ll know as a climber your eye is always drawn to the longest sections, the biggest cracks and other geological aesthetics. Of course desire might be offset against the inability to practice without gear but in your hypothetical world I’ll add infinite time (but not immortality – when one dies, the next one gets marooned obviously without the guidebook).

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Would he still do it? Nahhh

    You had best read his book.
    And many others. They go to the mountains for many years before your voyueristic camera got involved.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    matt, have you read Mountains of the Mind, by Robert McFarlane? I’m guessing you probably have!

    I was really interested to read in there how mountains were generally feared and avoided (or venerated and avoided), and it wasn’t really until the Victorian era that people first stated viewing them as a leisure pursuit.

    So it must be that the excitement found in mountaineering is partly a social construct? It needs some mystique, some story to be intriguing to people. Similarly, there isn’t really a much of land diving scene in the UK.

    They go to the mountains for many years before your voyueristic camera got involved.

    But they go to the mountains intrigued and inspired by the exploits of others, and measure their own exploits against those that inspired them. If they get to a level where it’s possible to do things that set them inside the story that’s captivated them, alongside their heros, that’s going to be compelling.

    Edukator
    Member

    They go to the mountains for many years before your voyueristic camera got involved.

    Jean-Marc Boivin was a mountaineer who went to the mountains for many years before the media took an interest. Then his extreme ski vids were on TV screens in ski bars across the Alps.

    Tv paid him to do even riskier things and it ended like this:

    mikey3
    Member

    i’m just going to post a video of someone dying to win my internet argument.

    Edukator
    Member

    Well in France that accident which was filmed for France Televison’s popular Ushuaia programme presented by the ever hypocritical Nicolas Houlot pretty much put an end to TV companies paying people to take high risks for the cameras. “L’héroisation médiatique” of the extreme sports community was recognised as a factor in the grim death toll in the 80s.

    Now there are new kids in town, the GoPro and YouTube. Everyone can be his/her own film maker and media hero. There are the mountaineers out there filming what they’ve always done, there is the audience and then those inspired by YouTube exploits to do the same or go one step further. It’s no longer France 2 inspiring people to go a step too far it’s YouTube likes. I read an article in the dentists last week (we both still ski mountaineer) with reported on some of the exploits and accidents during last Winter. In one example a local waited for perfect conditions and did a run which he posted on YouTube. The hordes arrived and repeated the run but the conditoins were by this time less than ideal. Anyhow, here’s some perspective and recent history.

    http://www.haute-savoie.gouv.fr/Politiques-publiques/Securite-et-protection-de-la-population/Votre-securite/En-montagne/Statistiques-d-accidents/2004-2005-hiver

    scuttler
    Member

    Edukator I agree that media and more recently social media is encouraging risk taking – that much is obvious and your examples support that. I could provide many more. Whilst your original comment was targeted at ‘the documentation of this type of exploit’ there is undoubtedly some specific consideration to be given to the individual (Honnold) and the documentary makers in question. I’m not sure either are unique enough to set it completely apart from other examples but there’s clearly something special here in terms of who it concerned, how the story evolved and what ultimately the achievement was. I still don’t have the slightest doubt Honnold would’ve done it regardless.

    Edukator
    Member

    We’ll have to disagree then, the filming of it was an intgral part of the whole thing.

    “you’re kind of tinkering in his head” says the lady who filmed it.

    scuttler
    Member

    Thanks for summarising.

    Premier Icon justinbieber
    Subscriber

    I reckon it’s a bit more complicated than that – yes, I think that the filming played a part in him doing the climb in the first place, but he was considering climbing it beforehand, and if you watched the film you’d see that he started free soloing it last year but turned back because it didn’t feel right and he wasn’t ready. The film gives you a great insight into his mind, and I honestly don’t think that Alex would attempt the climb if he didn’t feel like he was 100% able to do it.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Mind officially blown by it. Inspiring stuff..

    I think Alex would have climbed it with or without it being filmed. In fact, he says as such.

    Marin
    Member

    Agree with the above I think it was the climb first, film was a good opportunity to make money so good luck to him.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    I thought the film was quite brilliant, by far and away the best climbing film I’ve ever seen. Finally a film where you can really get a sense of the difficulty of actually staying in contact with the rock and edited with no voice over during the climb explaining to the punter what was actually happening. Like most others, I was really freaked out by the idea of one tiny mistake resulting in certain death let alone the fact that several sections were so marginal that they were not 100% wired on a rope prior to his solo ascent.
    I never got a sense from Alex that he kidded himself and his loved ones that he had the climb so wired that the risk element was under control, he just thinks the risk is worth it.
    As someone who has done a lot of necky climbs (up to E7) over the years I do fully understand what floats Alex’s boat, just, I always knew I was likely to screw up so always avoided those certain death anywhere on the route scenarios.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    … nobody else there, nobody else to tell about it who gives a damn about climbing. Would he still do it? Nahhh. People paying to watch the film are the problem, you’ll kill him one day.

    https://www.climbing.com/news/honnold-free-solos-half-domes-nw-face-2/

    you’ll note that this is a report written in the past tense, there are no pictures and no film. He just decided one day that today was the day, and after he made sure he could do, he did it, and made sure there was no-one about to film it. As other’s have said, the film explores all these concepts. You’d have to watch the film, but your sentiment seems to say that you’ll stay away. But you’re wrong about Alex Honnold.

    Alex will kill himself one day, I have no doubt about that, but he’ll do it to himself.

    jim25
    Member

    As stated above. He would of climbed in if the cameras weren’t there and you can see through his personal that at some point TS he’s not happy about it being filmed. He did it for himself, not for us.

    bensales
    Member

    Lance Armstrong (yes him) did a great interview with Honnold on his podcast ‘Forward’ just last week

    https://wedu.team/the-forward

    https://m.soundcloud.com/user-411867241/episode-92-alex-honnold-the-forward-podcast-with-lance-armstrong

    Premier Icon justinbieber
    Subscriber

    @bensales – thanks for that – was a really good interview.

    CountZero
    Member

    I remember watching a film on telly about a French female free-climber climbing some stuff, possibly in the Atlas Mountains, can’t remember, but it was terrifying watching her on overhangs, letting go with her feet, and just hanging over a vertical drop, then reaching around with one foot and one hand! I’m feeling anxious just describing what I remember, which was a few years ago now.

    I thought the film was great (especially watching it as an ex-climber).

    Someone told me that in his last book he said the last big solo his did had a big sense of anticlimax afterwards because he had no one to share it with – hence the media crew this time/way of showing off his exploits.

    IainAhh
    Member

    Regards of what you think of Lance A. A long but quite interesting interview with Honnold. I thought he comes across well. (Alex that is).

    Lance interviews Honnold
    (Oops posted already)

    As a middle aged bod who has climbed for years at punters level i find it bonkers what Honnold does. It makes me cringe and squirm but at the same time much appreciation.

    A line across the sky – with Tommy Caldwell in Patagonia

    The above in Patagonia was an amazing feet of daring and climbing. The best Alpinists have been trying to do that for more than 20 years

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    oh that is a good interview.  I`ve listened to Lance podcasts before and hated him but this was good.  Alex comes across incredibly though, so calm, so not wound up and so knowledgeable.  This is much better than the usual sound bite nonsense

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    Finally got to see this last night. Fantastic film, tense, exciting & emotional.

    What impresses me most about him is how meticulous his prep is, he knew every single move he would make on the way up the face.
    That combined with his speed when he went through the camping unicorn chickens campsite, I’m guessing they had taken a day to get there… & would probably have been on the face for a couple more & he smashed it out in the morning.

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    & it’s now been nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

    There was a very poignant moment on a recent Scottish ice climbing film(petzl?) Where Uli Steck pissed up one of the hardest routes there. At tge top he was grinning and really enjoying it. He said something along the lines of
    “That was really great. So much fun and not too stressful. I’ve been doing a lot of speed climbing in the last few years but it was too dangerous and I stopped because I’m worried I’ll die”

    Alas he restarted soon after that film, and did indeed die (Lhotse?)

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