Romantic Warrior UK climbing journalist, Colin Wells has written an obituary for the American soloist, Michael Reardon, who was swept out to sea off the coast of Kerry last Friday, 13th July.
"Michael Reardon, rock climber: born Quonset Point, Rhode Island 1 May 1965; married (one daughter); died Valentia Island, Co Kerry 13 July 2007.
If pressed, most keen climbers will admit to having indulged in "soloing " at some point; that is, ascending steep and technical rock without use of ropes or protection inserted into the rock to safeguard a potentially fatal fall. Most fail to continue this risky pursuit simply because they find that the mental strength required to keep feelings of deep insecurity at bay is beyond them, while others come to consider it irresponsible.
A tiny élite, however, find that moving in a continuous flowing style with little equipment to come between the climber and the rock is akin to a powerful drug, the purest form of climbing there is. One of the most accomplished solo climbers in the world, the flamboyant American Michael Reardon, recognised this terrifying dichotomy..."
You can read the full obituary at news.independent.co.uk