/ NEWS: When soloists fall

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Michael Ryan - on 26 Sep 2006
Sometimes solo climbers do make mistakes.

More in the news

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
Michael Ryan - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to TomPR:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> What an utter load of tosh! Reardon is such a bullsh*tting poser.

Quite clear which side of the camp you sit on. There were more stories there than Reardon's slip off, yes I agree, a short pocketted wall at Malibu (was Malibu?)

However: Romantic Warrior and others

http://freesoloist.com/



http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/0512/features/adventurers_of_the_year.html

7. Michael Reardon
Tackling the toughest routes—without a rope

Last summer, the buzz in climbing circles was Michael Reardon's ascent of Romantic Warrior, in the California Needles near the Nevada line. Everything about the climb is challenging: From the base, you look up almost a thousand feet (305 meters), all vertical or overhanging granite. There is no warm-up; first pitch, you are into 5.10, an expert-level climb. By the fourth, it is an even harder 5.12, with the kind of exposure that makes nonclimbers feel weak simply looking at the photographs. The only break comes on the ninth and final pitch, a 5.9. For the sport's finest talents, Romantic Warrior is a long and hard day's climb, but Reardon, 35, a movie director from outside of Los Angeles, sent it in less than two hours—and he did it without a rope.

Reardon is a free soloist, one of the very few who climb entirely without protection. Without it, of course, any mishap could be lethal. The unexpected wet spot on the rock, the unseen fracture that gives under pressure, the momentary loss of concentration after hours of intense focus—all fatal.

The question, then—so obvious you want to scream it—is, Why?

"You get so cluttered up with gear and tools that you lose the purity of the experience," Reardon says. "Climbing is all about going until you get too scared to go any farther, like when you were a kid climbing trees."

After Romantic Warrior, Reardon attempted the Palisades Traverse, a 160-pitch route across 13 peaks in the eastern Sierra. Previously, a pair of climbers had done it in 12 days. Reardon did it in 22 hours.

"People think I must have a death wish," Reardon says. "I don't. I have a wife and an 11-year-old girl." He explains, "There are just two kinds of relationships in this world, parasitic and reciprocal. I'm trying for a reciprocal relationship with the rock."

And that explains everything . . . or does it?
TomPR - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I've just looked at that website - OS solos of Stanage Without Oxygen and Warm Love!!! Ha ha, that's funny. The guy doesn't have the ability to climb those routes, let-alone redpoint them. I've seen him climbing in person and unless it's a very elaborate trick, he doesn't have the required skills or conditions (I talked to him when he was here on his UK trip and it was baking hot).
emo on 26 Sep 2006 - host86-137-176-177.range86-137.btcentralplus.com
In reply to TomPR:
'Ignoring the chipped hold and onsight soloing "Oedipus Ring" (E4 6b) - Froggatt, England'
Hmmm, which one did he ignore then
Fiend - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Not a particularly nice article. Very flowery in some places, very gung-ho in others. It doesn't treat the issue with the sensitivity it deserves.
TomPR - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to emo:

WTF!!!!!

There's even a photo of him OS soloing Neon Sunset at Froggatt - I presume he means Neon Dust??

Flippin' hell. Pull the other one. He struggles on 5c's and 6a's. This is worse than Si O'Connor. Where are some awesome photos of him actually on the cruxes of the routes?
adam carless - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to TomPR:

> There's even a photo of him OS soloing Neon Sunset at Froggatt - I presume he means Neon Dust??

I don't know the guy so I can comment about the rest of it, but that photo intrigued me too. I think Neon Dust is the seriously hard wall just left of Narcissus - and finishes at the Valkyrie traverse. The photo seems to be of the top pitch of Valkyrie, still not something I'd want to solo, but the caption does seem misleading.
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to TomPR:
You may not like him but after soloing routes like EBGB's he can pretty much say whatever he likes in my book.
Go and do some of his solo's then you can talk shit about him WHEN you come back.

Kenny - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to TomPR)
> You may not like him but after soloing routes like EBGB's he can pretty much say whatever he likes in my book.

Wow. Do you apply that logic to everyone who's impressed you with some achievements?
Poffers - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Kenny: Watch "Return to Sender" There is a whole section on this guy, yes he comes accross as a little bit of a tool but his obliviousness to complete terror is quite impressive. The KimChi fall did not look too bad at all. He talks a some utter tosh though!!!

"When you are more than 10ft off the ground you aren't soloing for anyone but yourself, if you are then you are stupid and you're going to die"

From the guy who is continually looking over at the camera, talking to the crew and 'flipping the bird' to me it seemed very much as if he was climbing for everyone else! AND.... he has stupid hair :op
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Kenny:

I think when it comes to talking about soloing he deserves to be heard. How can you not admire his energy, climbing and most of all his control over fear.

His metaphor of the "eight foot eggshell is brilliant"

I think his achievements deserve some kudos, dont you agree?
Derbyshire Ben on 26 Sep 2006 - host86-136-118-245.range86-136.btcentralplus.com
In reply to jazzyjackson:

>I think his achievements deserve some kudos, dont you agree?

No.. I think he's a cock.
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Derbyshire Ben:

Well I suppose thats what makes UKC such a positive place. Everybody keen to shit on everyone else.

Reardon puts himself out there in the firing line and theres always a cheap punk ready with intelligent comments like yours.

I would say Reardon is slightly more eloquent than yourself though : )
Kenny - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
>
> I think his achievements deserve some kudos, dont you agree?

I suppose so....but you have COMPLETELY missed my point.

jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Kenny:
or perhaps you mine!
Poffers - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson: Handbags gentlemen!
Dave Flanagan - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to TomPR:
> (In reply to emo)
>
> This is worse than Si O'Connor.

As you have seen him climb it can't be worse than Si o'Connor as no one has ever seen him climb.

Kenny - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:

No, yours is quite simple. Mine is perhaps a bit too subtle for you.
Yorkspud on 26 Sep 2006 - gateway-302.energis.gsi.gov.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

My right foot hits first, between the cobbles, and I know I will live. I wish I could freeze that moment forever. It has that most incredible rush of all emotions — the joy of hearing your child's heartbeat for the first time, the hypersensitivity of losing one's virginity, and the sadness of burying your loved ones. Everything.

I don't share this view!
TomPR - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Dave Flanagan:

;)

I'm hearing ya!
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Kenny:
you cheeky upstart. I challenge you to a duel!
Anonymous on 26 Sep 2006 - 82.152.220.225 whois?
talking about ground falls has anyone on here got any tales to tell. I fell ten foot at the begining of june and broke both bones in my ankle still on crutchs now.



loz
bluebrad on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to Derbyshire Ben)
>
> Reardon puts himself out there in the firing line and theres always a cheap punk ready with intelligent comments like yours.

Depends on who makes the comment - sometimes the "cheap punks" are worth listening to.

bluebrad
Marc C - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson: Think Kenny was suggesting that just because someone climbs hard, and merits respect, doesn't mean you give credence to everything they say? Didn't rate the article very highly - either as a piece of writing or as a philosophical statement.

I know nothing about the controversy he has attracted/generated, but if even SOME of those photos of him climbing are real, I wish I could climb like him! As you say, EBGBs is a very bold climb to solo.
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to bluebrad:

they are only comments on some forum.

They do not carry the same weight as physical actions.

it doesnt matter if Reardon is cool or stupid or full of himself. His actions carry weight that no internet forum "one liner" can ever equate to.
Derbyshire Ben on 26 Sep 2006 - host86-136-118-245.range86-136.btcentralplus.com
In reply to jazzyjackson:

It was a throwaway comment... but to elaborate for you.

I'm uncomfortable with his shameless self publicity, particularly when some of his claims are dubious to say the least because I think that an accurate historical record of climbing is important for the future of the sport and it undermines the legitimacy of his other ascents (EBGB's... etc.)

I wouldn't have commmented on a Reardon topic had he not made claims about hard Grit routes climbed during the hottest Summer for years whilst in the company of those able to judge climbing ability when they see it. For example, Neon Dust is absolutely nails (I spotted Moffat climbing the problem in perfect cool conditions years ago when he was climbing Fr8c's and Fb8a+ boulder problems) & even if he did the problem, he has admitted himself that he traversed off into Valkyrie but he's not updated his website has he?.

I'm in no doubt that he's a good solid climber, just perhaps not as amazing as the image he has of himself in his head and on his website.

>Reardon puts himself out there in the firing line

Hits the nail on the head for me...

>Cheap Punk

Ex-Punk, not cheap, you couldn't afford my day rates ;-)

End of my contribution to this topic.
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Marc C:
OK, that was taken out of context a little. What I meant was that he could say anything he wished about his chosen field of expertise "soloing". I didnt mean about anything.

I meant anything about soloing. My mistake but you get me drift, however vague.

He is an amazing climber, brilliant footwork and balance.
irving on 26 Sep 2006 - net26-100.tvu.ac.uk
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to bluebrad)
> His actions carry weight that no internet forum "one liner" can ever equate to.

Not true. http://www.funfreepages.com/prize/ is pretty powerful stuff.
Charles Arthur - UKC on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

this bloke said:
>> "There are just two kinds of relationships in this world, parasitic and reciprocal. I'm trying for a reciprocal relationship with the rock."

Pity that the rock is so completely uninterested in what you have to give it.

Soloing is always selfish (unless you're doing it to save someone, in which case you're into a different category). Interesting that we didn't hear from this guy's wife or daughter on their views.

Groundfalls? Yeah, been there - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=16

But that was 10, no, 11 years ago.

Charles
jkarran - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Which part of this is "News"?
jk
Norrie Muir - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> it doesnt matter if Reardon is cool or stupid or full of himself. His actions carry weight that no internet forum "one liner" can ever equate to.

Dear jazzy

Maybe so, but what has he done on a snooker table.

Norrie
mark s - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Derbyshire Ben: just had a look at his website,i agree with you.if you make ludicrus claims like that,you gotta be ready to take the stick.seen it before,ben heason,si oconner and no doubt more of them.
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Norrie Muir:
Dear Norrie,
I doubt Reardon plays pub sports. He is an extremist, pepsi max style, living life to the max, extreeeeeeme.

Have you ever potted the brown?
Norrie Muir - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to Norrie Muir)
>
> Have you ever potted the brown?

Dear jazzy

No, but I know about soloing climbing, and you sound if you don't know about soloing.

Good solo climbers don't fall.

Norrie
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Norrie Muir:
Dear Norrie,
I have soloed a few short and very easy climbs but I dont think I'll ever solo as a habit. I have mucho respect for the soloist.
John Bachar fell of a solo climb, he is considered one of the best.
Have you ever fallen off a solo?
prana on 26 Sep 2006 - cpc4-leed12-0-0-cust274.leed.cable.ntl.com [leed-cache-9.server.ntli.net]
In reply to jazzyjackson: i'd just like to know what he's listening to on his headphones. i'd guess mostly van halen/dave lee roth
Norrie Muir - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to Norrie Muir)

> Have you ever fallen off a solo?

Dear jazzy

No.

Norrie
jazzyjackson on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Norrie Muir:

What do you think of Mr Reardons Mojo club?

Are you a member?
Norrie Muir - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to Norrie Muir)
>
> What do you think of Mr Reardons Mojo club?
>
> Are you a member?

Dear jazzy

I don't play a banjo and can't dance or play snooker, so he would not let me join.

Norrie
Andy S - on 26 Sep 2006
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Good article
jazzyjackson on 27 Sep 2006
In reply to Norrie Muir:
> (In reply to jazzyjackson)
> [...]
>
> Dear jazzy
>
> I don't play a banjo and can't dance or play snooker, so he would not let me join.
>
> Norrie

thats exactly what he said to me after browsing my application form. Thats tough. maybe one day....( cue far away look with glassy eyes )

Bill Davidson - on 27 Sep 2006
In reply to Andy S:

Feeling a bit tense then Andy! :-)

Bill
Norrie Muir - on 27 Sep 2006
In reply to Bill Davidson:
> (In reply to Andy S)
>
> Feeling a bit tense then Andy! :-)
>
Dear Bill

One has to be relaxed when soloing at a reasonable standard.

Norrie
Michael Ryan - on 27 Sep 2006
prana on 27 Sep 2006 - cpc4-leed12-0-0-cust274.leed.cable.ntl.com [leed-cache-9.server.ntli.net]
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: and on supertopo in feb http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=150149&msg=152086

same bipolarity of views
prana on 27 Sep 2006 - cpc4-leed12-0-0-cust274.leed.cable.ntl.com [leed-cache-9.server.ntli.net]
Wanting his actions to speak louder than words, Reardon let it all hang out with a completely nude free solo ascent of “Airy Interlude” in Needles, Calif. He said it was a “finger in the air” to those who doubted him

Mike should have hooked up with Marc, when he visited..

http://www.theacorn.com/news/2005/0609/Front_Page/004.html

michaelreardon on 03 Oct 2006 - adsl-75-3-249-188.dsl.irvnca.sbcglobal.net
Forums, climbing and otherwise, tend to be dominated by a select handful of screaming idiots bored with masturbation, but overwhelmingly they do not represent the majority of folks in the real world. Because I like Mick Ryan and rather enjoy stopping by here once in a while, I figured it was worth a shot to respond to some of the comments. However, let's see if civility is as horrible over the pond as here in the states:

TomPR states: "The guy doesn't have the ability to climb those routes, let-alone redpoint them. I've seen him climbing in person... (I talked to him when he was here on his UK trip and it was baking hot)."

Well Tom, when exactly did you see me because it was definitely NOT "baking hot" as you claim. In fact, it was just the opposite, quite cold and rained every day I was there (forcing me to purchase warmer clothing). If it was not for the wind and the excellent ability for the grit to dry, I would not have been able to get any climbing done. And when did you speak to me? The only people I spent any time with at the crag itself were Niles, Grimes, and Matthews. Other than that, I barely met a handful of other climbers, but only for a few minutes here and there with barely a nod of the head much less anything substantial and did not climb with any other folks.

In reply to Derbyshire Ben: "I'm uncomfortable with his shameless self publicity, particularly when some of his claims are dubious to say the least because I think that an accurate historical record of climbing is important for the future of the sport and it undermines the legitimacy of his other ascents (EBGB's... etc.)... I wouldn't have commmented on a Reardon topic had he not made claims about hard Grit routes climbed during the hottest Summer for years whilst in the company of those able to judge climbing ability when they see it..."

DB, you and Tom need to get offline and outside to actually make a claim about hanging out with me, and again, it may have been hot during this past summer, but certainly not during the eight days I was there in May.

As for dubious claims, there are none. I have never once asked people to take my word for anything I have done, and in fact, have never once reported about something I have done without a third-party witness having told others about it first. After that, when posed a question as to whether I did/did not solo something I have provided dates, times, third-party witnesses, photos, and in some cases, videos. Far more proof than folks on a rope or with a crashpad have had to provide. If people do not like the answers, then they should not ask the questions.

As for this "shamelss self-promotion" I can only imagine how slanderous you must be to those constantly reported about in your own magazines.

emo asks about: " 'Ignoring the chipped hold and onsight soloing "Oedipus Ring" (E4 6b) - Froggatt, England' Hmmm, which one did he ignore then"

Hi Emo, I didn't realize there were more chipped holds than the opening moves. Grimes told me about the initial hold that was obviously chipped which is what I meant when I stated that I avoided it. The bigger shame is that chipping even happened there.

Another person stated: "Where are some awesome photos of him actually on the cruxes of the routes?"

Actually, we took 60 gigs worth of photos and another two hours worth of video while there, of which folks in Canada, Ireland and throughout the states have seen plenty of these during the slide shows that I have given. What the magazines and others choose to publish is not up to me, a photo is more than just a close-up of a crux move.

In reply to adam carless: "I think Neon Dust is the seriously hard wall just left of Narcissus - and finishes at the Valkyrie traverse. The photo seems to be of the top pitch of Valkyrie, still not something I'd want to solo, but the caption does seem misleading."

As I just mentioned, crux shots tend not to be the best shots, and "Neon Dust" is the perfect example of that. I did the bouldery crux then traversed to the crack and finished on "Valkyrie" as per the guidebook. The crux sequence was well documented in photos and also witnessed by six members of your military who were practicing ropework on the wall to the right of it, and shared a laugh with me when I almost was blown off the top of the route by the wind. I do not allow misleading photos to be released, of which a perfect example is when I did the crux to "West Side Story". I did the crux moves down low twice, but both times could not finish the upper section because of the rain. The same goes for several "routes" that had cruxes down low, but again, if I did not top out, I did not allow the release of the photos/video and do not claim them as having been completed.

In reply to Poffers: "From the guy who is continually looking over at the camera, talking to the crew and 'flipping the bird' to me it seemed very much as if he was climbing for everyone else! AND.... he has stupid hair"

Poffers, I'm actually flipping the bird at those who continue to take this sport so seriously but refuse to do anything towards the betterment of it. Climbing is about having fun first, but far too many people (particularly those who spend so much time online) tend to argue rather than do something constructive in this sport. If climbers spent one hour less online and one hour more picking up trash at a crag, every place would be spotless. As for the hair, you keep thinking Ron Fawcett was my idol when in fact it's Farrah Fawcett who is my idol....

In reply to Norrie Muir: Maybe so, but what has he done on a snooker table."

Lost money, I'm horrible, especially with what you folks call "whiskey" in me.

In reply to prana: "i'd just like to know what he's listening to on his headphones."

Hank Williams, Jr., DMX, and the Misfits.

In reply to jazzyjackson: "it doesnt matter if Reardon is cool or stupid or full of himself. His actions carry weight that no internet forum "one liner" can ever equate to."

To which I now realize that I've spent far too much time replying and with yet another perfect sunny day waiting for me here in California, I can only reply, "Amen." See you at the crags!
Marc C - on 03 Oct 2006
In reply to michaelreardon: If you see my old chum Chris Owen out at Stoney, say 'Hi' :)
Norrie Muir - on 03 Oct 2006
In reply to michaelreardon:
> In reply to Norrie Muir: Maybe so, but what has he done on a snooker table."
>
> Lost money, I'm horrible, especially with what you folks call "whiskey" in me.
>
Dear michael

I normally don't explain my posts on this site, however I will make an exception with you.

My reference to you and snooker is there was a player called Ray Reardon, who was the World Champion at snooker, see http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Players/Global_Europe/Global_Welsh/wales_ray_reardon.htm

A little tip, don't play snooker when you have Whisky in you, just have a quick vomit first.

Norrie

adam carless - on 03 Oct 2006
In reply to michaelreardon:

> In reply to adam carless: "I think Neon Dust is the seriously hard wall just left of Narcissus - and finishes at the Valkyrie traverse. The photo seems to be of the top pitch of Valkyrie, still not something I'd want to solo, but the caption does seem misleading."
>
> As I just mentioned, crux shots tend not to be the best shots, and "Neon Dust" is the perfect example of that. I did the bouldery crux then traversed to the crack and finished on "Valkyrie" as per the guidebook.

That's a fair point. I'd still suggest that if the photo is of you on Valkyrie pitch 2, it should be captioned as such. The fact that you'd done a seriously impressive route just before the picture was taken is irrelevant to those viewing the picture.

> The crux sequence was well documented in photos and also witnessed by six members of your military

I'm not suggesting you didn't do the route - as I said, I don't know you, and as far as I know I've never seen you climb. So I've no grounds on which to question your ascents. If you have got any good photos of anyone on Neon Dust, it would be great to see them - I don't think I've ever seen anyone on it before (not even Big Ron).

> I do not allow misleading photos to be released

It's always tricky ground here, because what to some people is tidying up or post-processing is what other people call photoshopping. Just to repeat, in this case I think the caption is misleading, because it shows you on Valkyrie, not Neon Dust.

Oh, and finally, it's good to see you're standing up and shouting back at us. It's always appreciated when the unknown faces from magazines and websites prove they really exist :-)
jghedge on 04 Oct 2006 - 207.47.113.186.static.nextweb.net
In reply to michaelreardon:

the definitive bored-with-masturbation thread:

http://supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=224670&msg=231318#msg231318


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