A reflection on the mishaps and close shaves of one climber's life, by Stu Bradbury...
'For me, the act of soloing with its commitment and simplicity fits in with my ideals. I have gone through the same steep learning curve in life that we all face, but my aim has to been to keep things simple, uncluttered. To live the life that I want. I can't say it has not been a selfish journey or one without casualties, but my biggest fear has always been the mundane; to live a life in beige.'
Brilliant, Stu! I can relate to so much of what you say about soloing although I've not done much of late. My own weirdest "expect the unexpected moment" came while soloing at Stanage early on in my soloing, and noticing a strange dusty texture on all the holds half way up, increasing the technical challenge significantly... Turns out it was some poor sod's ashes poured down the face! Grim and ironic, had it caused me to fall off.
I really enjoyed that.
One minor quibble that is unrelated to the article itself but is the case on a lot of editorial posts, it would be very helpful if the article photos actually linked to the climbs on the database. Sure, I can just find them anyway but since it is a feature of the system, why not?
Glad you enjoyed it & thanks for your comments, I think in past articles the routes have been highlighted in blue & when clicked take you to the relevant route...not something I can do from my end though.
Thanks again, all the best, Stu.
Haha! Yes its something I have come across a lot! I guess folks just like to chuck there loved ones off high places!! As long as your not climbing the route when it comes down & you pull over the top looking like you've been rolled in flour 'The Big Lebowski' Comes to mind.
Great article. It captured so much of what soloing or leading loose routes means to me. After more than 50 years of climbing I am much less bold than I used to be and ration myself these days to the occasional blast of commitment, but such experiences still give me more deep satisfaction than any other form of climbing.
Yeah the deep indelible personal experiences have always been a big part of what I love about the whole game...For me it is the psychological side as much (if not more) than the physical side, especially when played in combination with the isolation, commitment & connection with wild places.
glad you enjoyed it & thanks for getting in touch. All the best, Stu.