/ Dangerous, Dishonest, Irresponsible- Bear Grylls

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howlingbaboon 20:10 Tue

Has anyone suffered watching this video of Bear Grylls abseiling off a via ferrata bridge with Alex Honnald? There are just so many issues with what they did and even more with what they pretended to do that it's practically a "spot the potentially fatal malpractice" video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZahv3BQJ88

If an untrained fan went out and tried to do anything remotely similar with these methods (or the ones they claimed to use) then there is a very high chance that they will seriously injure themselves or worse.

As highly influential people and essentially ambassadors to the sport and other outdoor activities (chief scout etc) does anyone else think that they have completely crossed the line here by masquerading in such a way that to non climbers/cavers etc. they may be believed and copied.

Does anyone think we should get some kind of petition together, maybe endorsed by the BMC and mountain and cave rescue teams. Would it do any good?

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John Kelly 20:16 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Have you seen Honnalds other video, he didn't even bother with a rope

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In reply to howlingbaboon:

You'd need to word something quite carefully. I know how to drive and own a car, but have failed to drive like an F1 driver or injure myself in the manner of Richard Hammond.  The line between entertainment and something that could inspire accident, injury or death is usually drawn with the help of an experienced legal team, and so too are the responses to anyone suggesting that accident, injury or death may result from directly copying what has been shown.

Which isn't to say that you're wrong, or that it's a bad idea. Just that you need to be aware that you may be kicking a hornet's nest of legal troubles.

T.

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howlingbaboon 20:22 Tue

These are my initial thoughts: (feel free to add more!)

1. Firstly why abseil/rappel from the middle of a via ferrata bridge? Would have made more sense to go from the side of the canyon (especially if your rope isn't long enough – they would have then had the option to find/make another anchor to split the decent into lengths appropriate for their rope)

2. He said they were tying 3 ropes together. This would create a situation where they would have to pass knots on the abseil/rappel which is a more technical skill and involves more equipment (and knowledge of what to do with it) and practice. He clearly lied about this for pointless dramatisation.

3. If someone who didn't know he was lying tried this and got a knot stuck in their belay device half way down they would be stranded there and without rescue would likely end up with suspension trauma and quite likely die if exposure didn't kill them first. (reasonably assuming the person copying this moron wasn't versed and equipped to either pass a knot or prussic up a rope)

4. Rigging ropes that rub a steel cable is just idiotic especially when it could so easily have been avoided anyway. But he pretended to use socks (then later switched to various rope protectors without admitting it), again for pointless and dangerous dramatisation. Imagine the situation where the rope and bridge are already bouncing from them abseiling together and then a bunch of other people started walking their way along the bridge, more bouncing. The cable could easily saw through socks, rope protectors and ropes. So stupid! Am I wrong?

5. As others have clearly pointed out (See Andy KPs FB post), he pretended and demonstrated they were simul abseiling and then-off camera switched to a [slightly] safer setup with fixed ropes (2 lines each!). Why lie when if someone copies you they could get killed? Unbelievably irresponsible!

6. Also extremely and insensitive bad timing and in poor taste considering the recent tragic accident from simul abseiling/rappelling.

7. Not only did they not have a prussic to back up their abseil (very dangerous and stupid), Neither of them had both hands on the dead rope ( very dangerous and stupid). Even more idiotic at roughly 3:20 you'll see BG feeding the dead rope one handed while holding his phone in the other ( very dangerous and utterly stupid)

8. I wouldn't be surprised however, given what a charlatan this guy is if they had a backup top-rope and belayer above which they edited and photoshopped out.

9. More likely they had people giving them a firemans belay (holding the ends of their ropes controlling their decent by pulling them) on the ground, hiding behind a rock and edited out. Then why not just admit it rather than pretend to do something really dangerous

10. No knots in the end or the ropes – another potentially fatal error for his fans to copy.

11. No helmets – great role models!

12. The way they pretend that this was just an unplanned, spontaneous idea again is stupid and irresponsible considering there's a good chance that someone will just go and buy a rope and do something as dumb. Via ferrata are great ways for none-climbers to be able to get to really exciting places and most of the time are relatively safe as long as people stick to the route and don't go off piste and do dumb stuff like this. Just a few meter's away from a via ferrata route and one could be in a very much more serious position which could be extremely dangerous for someone untrained in ropework (climbers, cavers etc.) and without the right equipment (most via ferrata users don't even carry technical or rescue equipment)

13. To people who are not already into these kind of activities, these are two of the most influential people in the world. They should not be promoting such dangerous practice. These kinds of activities can easily be done with complete safety and no extra hassle but not like this. Why all the lying and BS?

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Michael Gordon 20:25 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

What's dangerous about it? What they did was completely safe. Even though they didn't do it, Bear seems to have at least understood the theory behind simultaneous abseiling. 

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Neil Williams 20:25 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

I'm reminded, as I mentioned on the other thread, of Bear allegedly abbing with Stephen Fry off a knot stuck in a crack.  I bet he didn't; as soon as the camera panned away they probably rigged it properly.  But why set such a bad example - someone might copy?

Edit: just watching it - did anyone see the look of "WTF?" on Honnold's face when Bear suggested simul-abbing?

Edit edit: the camera pans back at 2:50 and the setup no longer appears to be a simul-ab, if I'm seeing right.  The ropes are tied in Fig 8s to krabs on the VF wire, and they are on two separate ropes, one each using both strands.  Why gob off about simul-abbing then not do it?

Edit edit edit: they indeed aren't using prussiks, but I bet someone was standing at the bottom ready to pull the rope tight if necessary.

Post edited at 20:33
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howlingbaboon 20:27 Tue
In reply to John Kelly:

Yes, very good! But that doesn't pose as being instructional.

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howlingbaboon 20:47 Tue
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I'm sure what they actually did was safe, but what they were pretending to do, and the way they pretended to do it (until they re-rigged it all off camera etc.) is another story. Why risk people copying when an honest account wouldn't have been any less heroic in the eyes of the viewers?

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Paul Sagar 20:49 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

This is the same Bear Grylls who once did a video of himself abseiling off a deer antler that he claimed to have found lying around, and that he burried in the ground as an anchor...on the Isle of Skye...which is deer free (because of the bridge).

The guy is a complete charlatan. These videos are made for people who don't know anything about climbing or rope work and are easily impressed with superficial nonsense, much of which is just faked and the rest ridiculously over-exaggerated for 'dramatic' effect. Case in point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hs8_Tu4sgg

Nobody in their right mind, however, is going to go out and try a dangerous abseil with bad technique just because they saw a Grylls video. 

I'm much more disappointed in Honnold. Grylls has zero integrity and is a fraud through and through (he wasn't even in the real army, just the reserves) - somewhat ironic given he's also weirdo evangelical Christian, so dunno how he squares his fraud with his Christian morality.

Honnold however has really sold out big time for this - he knows as well as we do that Grylls is pure bullshit, but he just took the money anyway. He must have made so much from Free Solo, I find it hard to believe he needed the cash enough to do something that is just so nakedly fraudulent. Then again, everyone has their price, I guess, and integrity isn't marketable. 

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smally 21:15 Tue
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Isle of Skye.........deer free! I think you are channeling a bit of the Bear there. And do Red Deer have some type of bridge phobia?

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GrahamD 21:16 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Oh FFS he's a 'reality' TV entertainer. Turn over to Hollyoaks if it upsets you 

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Paul Sagar 21:20 Tue
In reply to smally:

Maybe I got confused - for some reason I thought the Red Deer had all been eliminated from Skye and they were kept off because they don't like crossing the bridge. Perhaps I just believed one too many tall tale in the pub - though I thought it was true on account of how I've seen loads of deer on the mainland up there but can't recall ever seeing one on Skye! 

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Mike505 21:21 Tue
In reply to Paul Sagar:

When it comes to Honnold I imagine his sponsors also have some say in what he gets up to.

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Paul Sagar 21:22 Tue

Oh dear oh deer...apparently there are absolutely loads of them on Skye!

https://www.isleofskye.com/skye-guide/wildlife

Funny how something can get stuck in your head...

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henwardian 21:29 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Nice. I think I got all your points except I didn't think about helmets.

However, I'll raise you:

1) The screwgate isn't done up on the initial setup where they have 1 screwgate on the overhead wire with ropes through it.

2) Simul abseils don't even need to be at the same time, one can stay at the top till the other is at the bottom before the 2nd man abseils or you can be far apart on the abseil, it really doesn't matter so long as you both know what you are doing.

3) Abseiling off the side wire of the bridge would solve all your rope fraying issues, going off the overhead wire is just stupid. If you don't want the two sets of strands hanging side-by-side, anchor to both side ropes with an isolation loop in the middle, then you would actually hang even further apart and increase the safety.

4) Frankly criminal editors cut back to the sock with no rope protectors mixed into the middle of their actual abseil.

Finally.... What about the filming?! Where is the drone?? Were they too terrified it could cut a rope? This seems like THE perfect place to get some nice drone shots of the abseil - they shots they do get are not really very good, and this from the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, this is their entire THING!

God that really was shite. I think it's a good job I'm never going to watch a full episode of this thing if this is the standard they are creating.

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henwardian 21:32 Tue
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> This is the same Bear Grylls who once did a video of himself abseiling off a deer antler that he claimed to have found lying around, and that he burried in the ground as an anchor...on the Isle of Skye...which is deer free (because of the bridge).

I've nearly mown down deer on Skye, it is a long way from being deer free. It also isn't related to the bridge. Deer are quite capable of swimming (frankly illlogical) distances through salfwater to get onto an island, there are lots of small islands in Scotland with their own deer that got there without any human help (not that Skye is at all small).

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LucaC 21:33 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

> 11. No helmets – great role models!

You don't seem to be wearing a helmet in your profile picture...

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chris687 21:40 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

If people went out and did what B&H did then they would not be injured. If they went out and did what they pretend they're doing then they would also not be injured so long as the complex assessment of the risks are considered (not wanting to go in to the pros/many-more-cons of simultaneous abseils and ignoring the extra rope thing that's mentioned. If they got either one wrong then they could be killed, experienced or otherwise, as recent tragedy will attest to. 

Most novices won't go out and try something with fatal consequences straight away. Fear often prohibits this kind of thing. So to answer your question: No we shouldn't  get a petition nor intervene

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howlingbaboon 21:41 Tue
In reply to LucaC:

Ha ha. I'm not exactly on the world stage! I've been away so long I'd forgotten about the ukc trolls! I'm genuinely concerned about how far this stuff is going and potential consequences.

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Michael Gordon 21:42 Tue
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I did like the theory that before the bridge the deer could come and go as they liked...

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Misha 21:42 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

...and breathe.

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Neil Williams 21:44 Tue
In reply to LucaC:

> You don't seem to be wearing a helmet in your profile picture...

Is his profile picture setting an example on national television?

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Neil Williams 21:46 Tue
In reply to henwardian:

> 1) The screwgate isn't done up on the initial setup where they have 1 screwgate on the overhead wire with ropes through it.

I did notice that though I couldn't decide on my smallish laptop screen if it was or not.

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olddirtydoggy 22:15 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Maybe Honnold is saving up for his retirement. Good for him! Looks like a crap show.

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Irk the Purist 22:18 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

If someone went out to abseil off a bridge without the required skills, and died, then I would probably blame them, not a TV celebrity. As my dear old nan would have said "if he'd told you to jump off a cliff, would you?"

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howlingbaboon 22:30 Tue
In reply to Neil Williams:

A lost rambler may have spotted me 15 years ago 2nding 2m of the deck at Chatsworth. Nothing a bit of time travel won't fix... ;)

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howlingbaboon 22:45 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Maybe I do get a bit too worked up over this stuff. Just struggle to see what all the pointless deception added to it compared to the risks. Would he have scored any less hero points with his target audience if he'd done the same thing honestly with apparent safety? Either way I think most folk probably just see a scary high abseil. He could have bagged some much needed authenticity points

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bensilvestre 22:50 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Anyone else see the Bear Grylls thing on Netflix, you sort of choose what happens in the episode according to different options given you. Choosing the most sadistic option every time is a good way of 'getting your own back'.

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Archy Styrigg 22:51 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

What I found truly amazing, and one of the many reasons why I'm in such awe of the mighty Bear, is that he can join several lengths of rope into one continuous length without a single knot.  Joined end to end to end, almost as if they were one single rope.

This disrespecting of Mr Grylls has to stop, and it has stop NOW!

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Paul Sagar 22:59 Tue
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Yes, I think in my head there were no deer before the bridge (because I didn't know they liked to swim in the sea) and then they didn't cross the bridge because...it was too long? And they didn't like walking on tarmac?

This is a bit like how I spent years thinking that "rhinovirus" was so-called because the virus looked like a rhinoceros under a microscope. I mean I guess it sort of made sense when I was 13. Having to be corrected by a friend doing a PhD in microbiology when I was 27, however...

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nufkin 23:07 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

>  the ukc trolls!

Why else do you think deer keep off the Skye bridge?

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deepsoup 23:26 Tue
In reply to howlingbaboon:

> Does anyone think we should get some kind of petition together, maybe endorsed by the BMC and mountain and cave rescue teams. Would it do any good?

Almost certainly not I'm afraid.  After the bat killing thing a few years ago several different conservation organisations protested, there were petitions and wotnot.  Didn't make a blind bit of difference.

It couldn't hurt to write to the Scouts and make your feelings known though, especially if you have some involvement in scouting.  I don't think it's true that all publicity is good publicity.  I know bugger all about scouting and bugger all about PR so my opinion is unqualified squared, but for what it's worth I think having him as Chief Scout does their image more harm than good.

I would probably say more, but I'm all Bear Grylls'ed out after two threads already in quick succession.  (Really can't face watching the clip at the mo, the other one of him & Honnold climbing the North Face of the Uxbridge Road was more than enough to be going on with.)

But regarding the bat thing, if you're interested in the background some links:
https://batworld.org/bear-grylls-bat-killer/
http://www.batcon.org/resources/media-education/bats-magazine/bat_article/1387
https://www.change.org/p/the-discovery-channel-stop-showing-videos-of-bear-grylls-mutilating-killing-and-eating-innocent-animals

38,165 signatures on that change.org petition, and I don't think it was the only one.  The Discovery channel refused to stop showing the bat killing sequence and it's still easy to find on youtube.  (I posted a link on one of the other threads.)  It's absolutely disgusting, but they argued that even though killing bats is illegal throughout many of the countries where the programme was shown it's legal in China where the sequence was filmed and therefore it's all hunky dory.

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deepsoup 23:48 Tue
In reply to henwardian:

> they shots they do get are not really very good, and this from the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, this is their entire THING!

> God that really was shite. I think it's a good job I'm never going to watch a full episode of this thing if this is the standard they are creating.

With feigned apologies for going wildly off-topic - here are a couple of just-about feature length Scottish films made by enthusiastic amateurs.*  Just check out the quality of the drone footage here, the wildlife footage too.  Feel the love and respect for the natural world that is completely lacking in Bear Grylls's work. (And I really like the music too, which is also their own.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE3gJave0jU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn0ojOOb-Gc

I've been evangelising all over the place about these guys since I discovered them just recently, sorry about that if anyone is getting sick of it.  But I just thought I'd mention it here in case anyone needs a palate cleanser to get rid of the taste after watching too much of BG's utter shite.  It's quite refreshing.

* - Well, not so much amateurs now I guess, since they successfully flogged a pilot to BBC Scotland and got themselves commissioned to make three 1/2hr episodes of something similar.  On iplayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0008n9l

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In reply to howlingbaboon:

Bear walks in wearing a small coil of maybe 40m of rope.  Then they ab into a 300ft = 100m gorge and have two strands of rope each = 400m of rope.  That's miraculous.

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Frank R. 00:06 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

What's the difference between Eddie (or whatever is his real name) Grylls and Brave Dave of recent UKC "fame"? Just the amount of Instagram followers and sponsors' money, I guess. And of course that Grylls doesn't chuck down any rocks, does he (he does...)

Welcome to the world of fame. Grylls is about as relevant as the Kardashians, which, unfortunately, is a lot relevant in today's world. I guess having him as a chief scout was mainly a PR decision, one that might bring more kids into scouting (which could be good, but based on such marketing, could be quite bad as well, given the scouting values and possible backlash). He might be even just a semi-decent guy caught up in his own web of falsehoods, with no easy way out, however unlikely that sounds. Or he might be just another self-absorbed psychopath like we have seen in recent politics and among other "celebs". Not something I'd choose for a PR chief scout, but hey, fortunately I'm in a different scouting org...

Post edited at 00:07
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mountbeckworth 04:40 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

I agree; he doesn't seem to passby a knot, and the rope looks suspiciously like a static rope.  And please, trolls living in mum's garage, keep your humourous comments out of a post that discusses serious climbing matters, like abseiling.

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Planeandsimple 06:49 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

As someone who was taught old school that you had to learn body abseiling, just in case. Whose  first abseiling prussiking lesson consisted of one body abseil, prussik back up, then one on a fig 8 without a prussik from  their bedroom window rope attached to the bannister. I see no real issue here. I think the guy is inspirational and you're just wanting the BMC to stop him because his job is way more fun and popular than yours. 

My opinion is that he doesn't teach anyone anything about anchors and doesn't claim to, I've seen far more dangerous practice from experienced BMC affiliated club climbers 'teaching' newbies at crags across the UK.

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Neil Williams 06:56 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

> A lost rambler may have spotted me 15 years ago 2nding 2m of the deck at Chatsworth. Nothing a bit of time travel won't fix... ;)

Superb, er, Photoshopping :D

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Sealwife 06:58 Wed
In reply to deepsoup:

Andrew and Mark’s adventure are great.  Low-key, likeable, the real thing.

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In reply to howlingbaboon:

I know quite a bit about criminal law and procedure and when I watch TV shows I see all sorts of things that are simply not accurate and when I point them out to my wife she normally tells me to shut up as she would rather watch the show than listen to me. I’m no fan of Bear but he is just a TV personality who does more of an outdoor thing. People with the skills and knowledge see through it all but most of the population watch for a bit of entertainment. Do you seriously expect that an untrained punter is going to head out to go outdoors and buy 300m of black static and start abseiling off things with their mate, carefully basing their rig on what they saw on Bears show?
I expect if I was offered a load of cash to do a show with Bear I would accept....although I can’t see that happening.

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Michael Gordon 07:38 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The ropes are knotted at the top, so more like 200m surely? That said, I would want clear evidence the ropes had touched the base before setting off!

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Michael Gordon 07:40 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

I don't understand the pretence either; it's just a bit weird, and as you say, pointless. But safety-wise it seems OK.

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Duncan Bourne 08:23 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Whatever you do don't watch Cliffhanger!!

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MischaHY 08:27 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

I think we're all getting a bit excited here. Far, far more sketchy things happen daily in the world of climbing and are widely publicised. Anyone remember this little gem from Hansjorg? 

https://gripped.com/video/watch-auers-scary-and-cringeworthy-rappel/ 

He was so hardcore. Unbelievable. 

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Climbthatpitch 08:31 Wed
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Why not. I learnt how to climb from watching that and vertical limit. 

Taught me everything I know 

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henwardian 08:34 Wed
In reply to deepsoup:

> With feigned apologies for going wildly off-topic - here are a couple of just-about feature length Scottish films made by enthusiastic amateurs.*  Just check out the quality of the drone footage here, the wildlife footage too.  Feel the love and respect for the natural world that is completely lacking in Bear Grylls's work. (And I really like the music too, which is also their own.)

Sweet. I've started watching that, and I'll keep watching it! Thanks for the suggestion, definitely something I'll enjoy in my spare time

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Duncan Bourne 09:11 Wed
In reply to Climbthatpitch:

And you're still alive to tell it

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Neil Williams 09:12 Wed
In reply to MischaHY:

> I think we're all getting a bit excited here. Far, far more sketchy things happen daily in the world of climbing and are widely publicised. Anyone remember this little gem from Hansjorg? 

> He was so hardcore. Unbelievable. 

Crikey.  That looks more likely *not* to hold than to hold!

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MischaHY 09:18 Wed
In reply to Neil Williams:

The moment when he starts to sit into it and it slips a little... 🤢

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Blue Straggler 10:06 Wed
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> This is a bit like how I spent years thinking that "rhinovirus" was so-called because the virus looked like a rhinoceros under a microscope. I mean I guess it sort of made sense when I was 13. Having to be corrected by a friend doing a PhD in microbiology when I was 27, however...

Hi Paul

In today's biology lesson, we will look at how a pony is NOT a young horse. That would be a foal. 

Which, if you were going from my friend's ex's big top quality Slovakian-English dictionary, would in fact come as a surprise.

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Climbthatpitch 10:09 Wed
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Just about 😁

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ChrisBrooke 10:21 Wed
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Hi Paul

> In today's biology lesson, we will look at how a pony is NOT a young horse. That would be a foal. 

> Which, if you were going from my friend's ex's big top quality Slovakian-English dictionary, would in fact come as a surprise.

My wife is a horse owner/expert. I've always enjoyed asking her: when will those ponies grow up into proper-sized horses....?

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Blue Straggler 10:27 Wed
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

> My wife is a horse owner/expert. I've always enjoyed asking her: when will those ponies grow up into proper-sized horses....?

To be honest, simply because I'd never really thought about it, plus the fact that young children tend to start riding on ponies so you associated ponies with "young", I am not sure how old I was when the penny dropped, despite knowing all about foals!

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galpinos 10:28 Wed
In reply to deepsoup:

No apologies needed, they look great, I've bookmarked them to watch them on my telly tonight.

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Dave Cundy 10:40 Wed
In reply to MischaHY:

Ha, hadn't seen that before.  Judging by the angle of the trees, it was about 40 degs off the horizontal.  The video probably terminates where it does because he just couldn't keep enough tension on the rope to keep it seated in position.

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MischaHY 10:49 Wed
In reply to Dave Cundy:

I hadn't spotted that before! Makes me feel a little less like puking, but it's still shuffling around down there... 🙈

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timjones 11:04 Wed
In reply to mountbeckworth:

> I agree; he doesn't seem to passby a knot, and the rope looks suspiciously like a static rope.  And please, trolls living in mum's garage, keep your humourous comments out of a post that discusses serious climbing matters, like abseiling.

If you only want serious comments can you explain why static rope would be the wrong choice for this "stunt"?

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timjones 11:08 Wed
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I did notice that though I couldn't decide on my smallish laptop screen if it was or not.

Does it really matter, the screwgate should be done up when you commence your abseil but there will inevitably be occasions during the rigging when it isn't.

I wouldn't normally watch anything by Grylls but this one is a must watch to see how 2 people with such vastly differing characters and skill levels interact.

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Neil Williams 11:12 Wed
In reply to timjones:

> Does it really matter, the screwgate should be done up when you commence your abseil but there will inevitably be occasions during the rigging when it isn't.

True, that was one of my thoughts at the time as well.  I only mentioned it because someone else did.

> I wouldn't normally watch anything by Grylls but this one is a must watch to see how 2 people with such vastly differing characters and skill levels interact.

It was interesting how Bear seemed to be explaining a climbing matter (simul-abseiling, even if they didn't actually do it) to Honnold who no doubt already knows!

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timjones 11:22 Wed
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It was interesting how Bear seemed to be explaining a climbing matter (simul-abseiling, even if they didn't actually do it) to Honnold who no doubt already knows!

A lot of that explanation seemed to be voice over stuff that was edited in later. You have to expereince some filming to appreciate just how fake it is and the simple fact that Alex would have little idea or inflluence over how the final cut appeared.

I'd best not say what I think of Bear Grylls, but Alex is a very genuine and nice guy.

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Neil Williams 11:25 Wed
In reply to timjones:

> Alex is a very genuine and nice guy.

I'd go "a bit of a nutter" in terms of the high levels of risk (i.e. Free Solo) - but he does seem genuine and pleasant, yes, and he's by no means the only person who takes extreme risks.  The only problem is that people who do take that kind of risk tend not to live to a ripe old age, which would be quite sad.

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JLS 11:28 Wed
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

>"he can join several lengths of rope into one continuous length without a single knot"

Off camera, rub a few sticks together, get a small fire going, heat ends of rope in fire until slightly molten, press molten ends of rope together and hold in place while cooling. Ropes will have fused/welded together into a single strand. Simples.

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timjones 11:29 Wed
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'd say that he is less of a nutter than most of us and puts a huge amount of dedication and time into ensuring that the odds are stacked well in his favour.

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

> The ropes are knotted at the top, so more like 200m surely? That said, I would want clear evidence the ropes had touched the base before setting off!

Two climbers with 2 strands of reach each and all stretching down 100m is 400m of rope.  Doesn't matter how they are attached at the top.

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DancingOnRock 12:38 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

It’s called the ‘Idiot Box’ for a reason. 
 

Does it not come with a warning at the beginning to the effect that ‘Climbing and associated activities...’ or ‘Please do not try this at home’ ?

US programs are usually pretty hot on that. 

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Iamgregp 13:20 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

I mean this is total ridiculous bollocks, but like others have said, it's entertainment designed for non-climbing types and probably served with hefty warning not to try it at home. 

Considering Jackass aired on MTV for years, this isn't exactly the most irresposibly dangerous stuff you can see on tv...

I love the way it switches from a sketchy simul abseil set up with socks as rope protectors to two ropes tied off with proper rope protectors (and socks) all looking super safe, all made from that one short looking rope Bear had looped around him!

I'm not judging Honnold for taking part.  It's a Nat Geo production and it's they who bankrolled Free Solo so he obviously wants to maintain a good relationship with them.  May even be a contractual requirement?

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Rigid Raider 13:49 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

This is always going to be a problem when so-called adventure shows are viewed by people who know a few things about the sport. I remember trying not to laugh derisively when we saw Cliffhanger with Stallone.

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LastBoyScout 13:52 Wed
In reply to deepsoup:

As it happens, I have emailed the Scouts about it.

The response was, to paraphrase, "we know about his videos, he's known for doing a broad range of things, and because he isn't doing them in Scout uniform or associating them with his Scouting role and they are not aired at times they could be seen by an inappropriate audience, we're going to overlook them".

I've yet to craft a proper response to the email.

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Neil Williams 13:55 Wed
In reply to LastBoyScout:

The Scout badge he wears is certainly visible on that video for a short time.

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DancingOnRock 13:56 Wed
In reply to Rigid Raider:

It happens in practically all TV shows, it’s not restricted to climbing. We just notice it in climbing because it’s something we are familiar with. 
 

You’ll have a technical expert advisor who makes suggestions to make scenes more realistic/believable but it’s down to the director whether or not to implement them and then, in the case of dangerous activities, the stunt team to ensure it’s safe. 
 

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LastBoyScout 14:02 Wed
In reply to Neil Williams:

> The Scout badge he wears is certainly visible on that video for a short time.

Yes - apparently, they had no knowledge of that film and assume Bear's decision to wear that top on that occasion, which, overall, is just a bit of over-acting nonsense.

But, importantly, he wasn't wearing one when he was smashing bats!

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spartacus 14:02 Wed
In reply to DancingOnRock:

I agree, the idea that film/ Tv is a recording of an event is bonkers. This has been taken to new levels by programs like this or Top Gear / Travels with my father, that you are supposed to believe is not highly organised and scripted. 
 

Post edited at 14:03
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Dave Garnett 14:06 Wed
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> It happens in practically all TV shows, it’s not restricted to climbing. We just notice it in climbing because it’s something we are familiar with. 

Yes, but this isn't the Eiger Sanction*.  It pretends to be reality TV.  And the presenters pass themselves off as experts, no matter how much they say don't do this at home. 

* In fact, I think the filming of the Eiger Sanction was nearly as dangerous as the fictional story!

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DancingOnRock 14:53 Wed
In reply to Dave Garnett:

The clue is in the word ‘reality’ it’s like real life, not real life. It’s not even ‘documentary’ or ‘instructional’. 
 

If anything you need to blame people who don’t understand what a ‘reality’ show is. The people who believe Love Island, Celebrity Jungle etc are real. 
 

That runs a lot deeper than our hero here. Good luck with changing the world. 

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I did like the theory that before the bridge the deer could come and go as they liked...

Ages ago I took the wee ferry they had before the bridge.  Totally packed out with deer visiting their mates on Skye.  I could hardly find anywhere to stand.

I'd have thought they'd be OK going over the bridge now since they abolished the tolls.  Deer don't have much money.

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DerwentDiluted 15:32 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I'd have thought they'd be OK going over the bridge now since they abolished the tolls.  Deer don't have much money.

Too dear?

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althesin 15:38 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Yet another fallacy, actually they have plenty of doe.

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dabble 15:47 Wed
In reply to althesin:

They're not short of a few bucks either.

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LastBoyScout 15:49 Wed
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> Yes - apparently, they had no knowledge of that film and assume Bear's decision to wear that top on that occasion, which, overall, is just a bit of over-acting nonsense.

> But, importantly, he wasn't wearing one when he was smashing bats!

I should qualify that I was referring here to the video posted on Monday - https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/bear_grylls_and_alex_honnold_climbing_together-714505

Looks like he's wearing the same top in this one, which is almost certainly from the same trip, and the same comment applies, although this film is, however, far worse on the technical front.

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In reply to howlingbaboon:

At 1:22 you can see Alex trying not to crack up. I also love all his acting: "We should rappel off the bridge" "Well I guess you could use my socks!"

I'm guessing all his climbing mates won't let him live this down for a while. 

In Bear's defense he is just trying to simulate the scenario, without actually endangering either of their lives. The irony being he just simulates a s**t load of dangerous stuff, doesn't tell anyone how to actually do it properly or more importantly how best to avoid the dangerous situation, which in turn is actually endangering all his fans that think what he is doing is survival. He can tell himself that people are warned not to copy him so it's not his fault, but in being 'Head Scout' he knows he is a massive example to children and so what he is doing is completely irresponsible.  

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Michael Gordon 16:45 Wed
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> The clue is in the word ‘reality’ it’s like real life, not real life. It’s not even ‘documentary’ or ‘instructional’. > 

'Reality' means real life. The meaning is changed by adding 'TV' or 'show' afterwards.

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graeme jackson 17:49 Wed
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> * In fact, I think the filming of the Eiger Sanction was nearly as dangerous as the fictional story!

Hamish Macinnes documents it in his book 'look behind the ranges'. It sounds pretty incredible that they let Clint Eastwood do his own stunts hanging from a ladder jutting out over the precipice - including the cutting the rope scene which coud have gone wrong in so many ways.

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deepsoup 18:04 Wed
In reply to graeme jackson:

Are you old enough to have seen the episode of Blue Peter with John Noakes doing some very old-school roped access on Nelson's Column?  Also pretty incredible by modern standards, there's no hidden toprope here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW3daihiY30

Post edited at 18:04
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Dave Garnett 18:27 Wed
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> The clue is in the word ‘reality’ it’s like real life, not real life. 

I think your reality must be very different to mine!

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Northern Star 18:37 Wed
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> The irony being he just simulates a s**t load of dangerous stuff, doesn't tell anyone how to actually do it properly or more importantly how best to avoid the dangerous situation, which in turn is actually endangering all his fans that think what he is doing is survival.

I very much doubt that anyone under the age of 10 or so would be taken in by the fact that this is just an entertainment show pure and simple.  It's certainly not an instructional TV series trying to teach anyone how to climb, rappel or survive in the wild, nor should it be taken as such.

The only people who this show is likely to impress are those people who are not outdoors people and who would probably never consider doing this kind of stuff anyway, at least not without an instructor.  Plus behind all the stunts is a huge backup and safety crew.  Yes it's twisting the truth but what entertainment show doesn't do that these days?

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McHeath 18:44 Wed
In reply to howlingbaboon:

Can't resist posting this quote from the Wiki article about BG's former regiment, the 21 SAS (Reserves):

"A review was conducted of the unit's operational capability and role in 2009/10; it was found that (...) the reservists lacked the capability, equipment, and skills to serve alongside the regular special forces."

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DancingOnRock 19:14 Wed
In reply to Dave Garnett:

No. As Micheal points out. In this situation the word ‘reality’ is modified by the association with the word show. Similar to when you say ‘virtual reality’. 

Reality shows are just ‘like reality’ they’re not actually real.

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graeme jackson 22:13 Wed
In reply to deepsoup:

> Are you old enough to have seen the episode of Blue Peter with John Noakes doing some very old-school roped access on Nelson's Column?  Also pretty incredible by modern standards, there's no hidden toprope here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW3daihiY30


Yes. 59 this summer.  I remember seeing it at the time thinking nothing of it because that's what john did. See the footage nowadays and my heart's in my mouth every time.

Post edited at 22:14
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Michael Gordon 08:00 Thu
In reply to DancingOnRock:

You've completely missed the point which was that the clue is not in the word 'reality', but in the words tacked on to it - 'TV', 'show', 'virtual', etc. Your first post was therefore incorrect.

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DancingOnRock 09:54 Thu
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Don’t be so bloody pedantic. I’m pretty sure most intelligent people understand that ‘reality’ shows are not real. And that the presence of the word reality in this context is a misnomer. 

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Bear walks in wearing a small coil of maybe 40m of rope.  Then they ab into a 300ft = 100m gorge and have two strands of rope each = 400m of rope.  That's miraculous.


Just a bit of ropey editing.

Post edited at 10:54
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Michael Gordon 16:28 Thu
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Don’t be so bloody pedantic. 

Sorry, it's a habit

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springfall2008 16:34 Thu
In reply to howlingbaboon:

I don't even understand why, if they had enough rope for two people both to abseil on two strands of rope wouldn't you just tie the two ropes at the top, feed it through the crab and then go down one at a time on both strands. They could have used half the amount of rope and no simu-abseil required!

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Michael Gordon 17:25 Thu
In reply to springfall2008:

Abseiling at the same time was clearly for the fun of it. What I don't understand is why they needed to go down on 2 strands of rope each. 

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Archy Styrigg 17:31 Thu
In reply to Michael Gordon:

They ordered 1250 feet of rope and didn't want to cut it in half.

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Alex Riley 17:38 Thu
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Totally normal to take 400m of rope out with you just in case you need to abseil off a bridge  ;)

(if it was 300ft and doubled over)

I guess a bit of double rope redundancy isn’t the end of the world when your rope protected is a pair of wooly socks

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alibrightman 00:38 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:

> With feigned apologies for going wildly off-topic [...] Feel the love and respect for the natural world that is completely lacking in Bear Grylls's work. (And I really like the music too, which is also their own.)

Many thanks for rescuing us from another depressing Bear Grylls thread.

Cheers. Al

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