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Clove Hitch

Alex Honnold free solos El Capitan

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This is amazing.  I don't think anybody will be surprised when this guy dies, but it is astonishing to see what he is sending

Quote

A climber who has become the first person to reach the top of California's El Capitan rock without a rope has described his intense satisfaction.

"It was exactly what I hoped for. I felt so good. It went pretty much perfectly," Alex Honnold said.

His ascent of the 3,000ft (1,000m) rock-face in Yosemite National Park on Saturday has been described as one of the greatest solo climbing feats.

It took Mr Honnold four hours to scale it without ropes or other safety gear.

In places the 31-year-old Californian had to dangle from the mountain by his fingertips.

El-Capitan-_Yosemite-Mariposa-Slide_-Pho

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40157137

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3000 feet, pretty much straight up, in 4 hours.......

Whatta climbing monster.

This guy's gotta have muscles in his finger nails.

I 'm gonna need a nap just thinking about it.......

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the dude is certifiable. certifiably good - but also nuts. Sure, everything he does is very calculated, very well practiced, and he is of course he is very good. But... shit goes wrong and there is no protection at all. 

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I like the way Honnold just climbs in whatever he happened to have been wearing, not even rock climbing gear other than the shoes, he looks like he went out to pick up a quart of a milk and then suddenly decided to do a free solo. Gotta be a little worrisome, that those baggy shorts and collar shirt might catch or impede him some way at a critical reach.

 

I remember way back in the 1990s, the free solo nude attempt on Half Dome. To do it free solo, nuts, but without even any clothing ... you better have a good relationship with your Maker I guess ...

110716524_large_1494352248.jpg

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Here are a couple of photos of different parts of the route.  What's the saying about genius-?  Hits the target that nobody can see? Alex sure as hell qualifies. A paragon of inspiration, that guy is. 

 

27180.jpg

106278347_medium_1494093769.jpg 

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Even though trees in my childhood were the full extent of my climbing experience, I've always had an instinctive understanding of what draws climbers to mountains but not this guy - or those slack liners either.

There's calculated risk and then there's stupid Darwinism. I'd place a large bet that he'll never experience the joy of being a grandfather.

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I read something interesting in the Outside, article, he told his friend that he's never fallen unexpectedly. He always had specific things leading up to his falls where he knew that his climb was coming apart.

What he did reminds me of Kennedy's Rice-Texas speech, "... not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize the best of our energies and skills ..."

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That's quit a feat, but . . .

Some day people will say,

He left his splat mark on the world

 

Do you guys remember that illegal base jumping lady who tried El Cap in a borrowed

chute that didn't open, because she didn't want the rangers to confiscate her good new chute ?

 

Somebody's got to clean up that mess

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20 hours ago, dreaded said:

I heard that NatGeo filmed the ascent... 

The question I have, is what happens if you injure a wrist or something, you just jump off?

 

Ya, the route is impossible to down climb.  Once he committed to the route, it was do or die.

Somebody should do a MRI on his brain.  Something very strange with his head to allow such amazing composure. 

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He's almost certainly got the same brain condition that test pilots, F1 drivers, Isle of Man TT racers etc. all have.

The area of their brain that processes fear - the fight or flight response - is greatly reduced compared to normal people. Simply put, they don't feel fear the way the rest of us do.

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11 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

He's almost certainly got the same brain condition that test pilots, F1 drivers, Isle of Man TT racers etc. all have.

The area of their brain that processes fear - the fight or flight response - is greatly reduced compared to normal people. Simply put, they don't feel fear the way the rest of us do.

I thought about that a lot, but the interviews with him, he doesn't sound abnormal in any way, just very, very good at what he does. I've never known anyone of his level, but I've known rock climbers and canyon slackliners, I think they're just normal people. They do something for so long, and they so intimately understand the process and the failure points, that they no longer fear what they understand. I wouldn't get out on a canyon slackline for anything, those guys do it for fun.

I think we all have that in us. I am terrified of chain saws because I don't use them very often, but I think nothing of picking of a Sawzall or ripping wood on a table saw, sometimes without a guard. I get used to driving 70 mph down an undivided highway, with only a yard between the edge of my truck and a truck coming the opposite direction also at 70 mph. I used to work with Polonium in the scintillation machine and didn't even think of the risks because I had been doing it for a while. I see kids sit at the edge of Table Rock and dangle their feet over the edge, as casually as watching an NBA game. I'm so terrified of that fall that I won't even walk to within 20 feet of the edge.

I think that most of us work around very dangerous things and we don't even notice that they are dangerous because we understand the risks pretty well.

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Few of us ever deal with situations as binary as free climbing - succeed or die.

Everyone has a unique fear response but the sort of people who indulge in extreme life or death situations for fun are different from most of us - you can look up brain scans of them and see how reduced their "fear centers" are.

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Congrats to him.  Alex is an insanely good climber.  For those that want to learn more about his adventures, read "Alone on the wall".  Great book and you can almost feel some anxiety just reading about his exploits.

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7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Few of us ever deal with situations as binary as free climbing - succeed or die.

Everyone has a unique fear response but the sort of people who indulge in extreme life or death situations for fun are different from most of us - you can look up brain scans of them and see how reduced their "fear centers" are.

Is that real?

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Yep - I've seen them. The areas that are active "light up" on the scans - that applies to all different brain activity, not just fear response. The lit up areas of the fearless types were far less than 1/2 the size of "normal" people when they were triggered.

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43 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Yep - I've seen them. The areas that are active "light up" on the scans - that applies to all different brain activity, not just fear response. The lit up areas of the fearless types were far less than 1/2 the size of "normal" people when they were triggered.

That's wild.

I bet that mine would light up 200% for the sushi, whisky and 40-something women response.

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So lets say alex sets up serial belays ahead with compadres and solos the route 5 times with no falls but roughly in the same time frame as if he were free of protection. Keep in mind that there are truly places to rest regardless. But no waiting for a leader to set up a top rope or for him to lead and then belay another. If he has the route totally wired and memorized and knows he has not had an issue on any section in 5 climbs then the only risk is from falling debris or another climber falling into him while on the route. I could almost guarantee the climbing community gave him a traffic free window for his attempt and that there were folks ready to rappel down to him if he froze. Even if he didnt request it I would guess there were folks who coukd not in good conscience skip being there for an out if it could help. Theres a fair amount of just plain rappeling down that thing. There so much hardware screwed into that rock you could probably rappel from the top to the bottom with a harness, a figure 8, 200' of line and 30 tethered beiners. Not to in any way marginalize his accomplishment but I think for a highly trained and prepared athlete the risk profile could be brought into an acceptable range. Reinhold Messner in his prime was doing the same seemingly outrageous types of climbs back in the 80s but because it was out of view due to remote and high altitude locations in addition to almost a totally ignorant public regarding risk factors it went largely unoticed. At the time Reinhold was the only human who had trained his body, prepared his route, and prepared his logistics approach to the level he did. There was little margin for error and he had weather to cope with. He survived, his brother didn't and many have lost their lives trying to repeat his accomplishments one even recently. Only the people doing these things know about the risk they believe they are accepting. 

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On 6/6/2017 at 11:11 AM, SloopJonB said:

Even though trees in my childhood were the full extent of my climbing experience, I've always had an instinctive understanding of what draws climbers to mountains but not this guy - or those slack liners either.

There's calculated risk and then there's stupid Darwinism. I'd place a large bet that he'll never experience the joy of being a grandfather.

There's old climbers, and there's bold climbers.  But, there are no old, bold climbers!! Big props regardless, and balls of steel!

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18 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

So lets say alex sets up serial belays ahead with compadres and solos the route 5 times with no falls but roughly in the same time frame as if he were free of protection. Keep in mind that there are truly places to rest regardless. But no waiting for a leader to set up a top rope or for him to lead and then belay another. If he has the route totally wired and memorized and knows he has not had an issue on any section in 5 climbs then the only risk is from falling debris or another climber falling into him while on the route. I could almost guarantee the climbing community gave him a traffic free window for his attempt and that there were folks ready to rappel down to him if he froze. Even if he didnt request it I would guess there were folks who coukd not in good conscience skip being there for an out if it could help. Theres a fair amount of just plain rappeling down that thing. There so much hardware screwed into that rock you could probably rappel from the top to the bottom with a harness, a figure 8, 200' of line and 30 tethered beiners. Not to in any way marginalize his accomplishment but I think for a highly trained and prepared athlete the risk profile could be brought into an acceptable range. Reinhold Messner in his prime was doing the same seemingly outrageous types of climbs back in the 80s but because it was out of view due to remote and high altitude locations in addition to almost a totally ignorant public regarding risk factors it went largely unoticed. At the time Reinhold was the only human who had trained his body, prepared his route, and prepared his logistics approach to the level he did. There was little margin for error and he had weather to cope with. He survived, his brother didn't and many have lost their lives trying to repeat his accomplishments one even recently. Only the people doing these things know about the risk they believe they are accepting. 

Tommy Caldwell and his wife knew, Jimmy Chin knew and (I think) was the only photog on the route with him, and only a couple other people knew about it. So no, I don't think the route was swept clean of other climbers beforehand, nobody knew about it. He literally woke up early saturday morning, drove to the wall, put on his shoes and chalkbag, and three and a half hours later, he topped out and hiked down. Tommy wrote in Outside magazine that Alex specifically didn't tell anybody, because it would've psyched him out, he's very obviously not doing it for fame or publicity. It's been a goal of his for years and he's been training for it in earnest for the past few months, and I can't wait to see what Jimmy puts out ! 

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https://www.outsideonline.com/2190306/why-alex-honnolds-free-solo-scared-me

Without trying to sound ridiculous here,  I wasn't able to read about this climb when it first happened.  Coming not long after the death of Ueli Steck,  I thought the worst had befallen Alex H. and I just wasn't up for another tragedy.

Remarkable adventure his life certainly is and on the coolness level he is truly one of a kind.    

 

Another good life:

 

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On 6/5/2017 at 2:42 PM, Clove Hitch said:

This is amazing.  I don't think anybody will be surprised when this guy dies, but it is astonishing to see what he is sending

A climber who has become the first person to reach the top of California's El Capitan rock without a rope has described his intense satisfaction.

"It was exactly what I hoped for. I felt so good. It went pretty much perfectly," Alex Honnold said.

El-Capitan-_Yosemite-Mariposa-Slide_-Pho

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40157137

It seems that some people simply retain their primitive, primate genetics longer than the rest of us.

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