I really like the use of colour in this photo, the contrast gives a dark, foreboding quality. The top rope tucked up under the armpits gives a sense of the adventure and thrill we all crave from this sport. The final touch which I love, is the way the image shows how financially draining climbing is, I mean clearly Steve can't even afford any shoes.
stuart945 - 24/Feb/12
Brilliant...taking top-roping ethics to the next level
robin of the rocks - 24/Feb/12
Irresponsible climbing. Climbing like this has no place in this century.
Curious George - 24/Feb/12
Now if that was Johnny Redhead, he would tie the rope arround his bo**ocks!
Sean Kelly - 24/Feb/12
No Helmet, tut-tut...
Padraig - 25/Feb/12
You would be loved in the ultra-traditional Elbsandstein sandstone tower mecca in east Germany!
Robin Head - 25/Feb/12
This looks tough!
nicolaroper - 25/Feb/12
Congratulations! This photo was chosen as Photo of the Week, based on votes by registered users over the past 7 days.
UKC Photos - 26/Feb/12
heel hooking on a slab is not permitted, but i'm glad to see the safety tail on the knot !!!
chris fox - 26/Feb/12
How is the the fotw..?!?!? Some kind of troll obviously? Total outrage must be expressed. Awful photo. Though at least it is showing the future - this is a very stylish ascent! Barefoot, chalkless - Whillans would be proud.
jacobjlloyd - 26/Feb/12
Jacobjlloyd, you are right, it's not a very good photo, nor a bad photo, rather a photo of somebody doing something quite interesting. But the POTW goes on votes rather than photographic merit, either way it doesn't really matter; The people have spoken - the bastards! Good climbing skills though :)
Tom Last - 26/Feb/12
its funny but why is it photo of the week ?
beth-h - 26/Feb/12
It's POTW because it makes you think, and kicks off discussion. I'd never do it but it's interesting to think about.
Muel - 27/Feb/12
Lets hope he doesn't have athletes foot! Pity help the next climber trying this route crimping on these smelly holds! Euughghh!
Lone Rider - 27/Feb/12
What we aren't seeing are the seventeen iron stakes cemented in to create the top rope anchor
JimboWizbo - 27/Feb/12
Bare foot, I like it.
Onge - 27/Feb/12
This is a complete outrage! Who is this 'funsized' character? He has stolen my photo of the week opportunity and therefore the glory that comes with such a prestigious award. This is my photo which he has mercilessly copyrighted as his own....I want my photo back.
dmoir - 27/Feb/12
Seriously 1st place photo of the week?! Seriously, who is voting for this?!
Low contrast, center composition, under exposed, crap timing (climber's arm is covering his face), crap angle, crap perspective... I could go on. There are loads of photos that deserve POTW because they tick all the right boxes but don't get a look in because they weren't taken by or of someone popular or because they contain someone climbing a HS rather than an E8.
This photo just proves that POTW is purely a matter of popularity and not a matter of photography.
y2keable - 27/Feb/12
top rope tough guy
Twigger - 28/Feb/12
Having recently been made aware of the compelling backstory that has led to the popularity of this photo, I finally understand its popularity. As an historic shot, it is unique. I fear however that most people commenting still have no idea who the subject is, or why they are important. It is too sensitive to discuss openly here, but let it be known - the man is a hero.
jacobjlloyd - 28/Feb/12
Agreed Jacob. This man has more nerve than could possibly be explained. your an insparition Steve. Hang in there bud.
Alex the Alex - 28/Feb/12
Can't imagine there would be much skin left after trying to smear up the kayak in bare feet. Imbercile
sting - 28/Feb/12
Wow...stunning, a truly amazing photo of climbing in the best style in the World's best climbing area!
sebrider - 28/Feb/12
It amazes me that this photo has gotten so much flak for being "politically incorrect!" No helmet? He's not going much of anywhere; he's on a toprope! No harness? It's a toprope! He might be uncomfortable if he falls, but he won't hit the deck like he would if he were leading. No shoes - no impact. No chalk - no impact. Less gear, more primitive gear - more skill, more style.
mforce - 29/Feb/12
It's hilarious how irate people get about this kind of thing, yet when Honnold goes soloing hardly anyone says narrow minded things like 'there's no room for that sort of climbing in this century'. Instead he is (rightly so) labeled as a highly skilled athlete. It takes all sorts to make a world. Chill out.
Matt Pycroft - 29/Feb/12
To me, this is a crap photo. Jon Griffith you was robbed ('On the stunning ice pitches of Late to Say I'm Sorry, Aiguille Verte')!
Dave Foster - 01/Mar/12
this photo isnt good in the first place. when put next to the other 9 brilliant phtos its just pathetic. whats going on here?
ste19 - 02/Mar/12
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I'm glad I'm not the only barefoot climber about
Unclejona - 06/Mar/12