Free Solo Climbing

Alain Robert Free Soloing

Alain Robert Free Soloing

Free solo climbing a.k.a. free soloing is the most pure form of climbing, it is considered the most dangerous and for some the most rewarding. Simply put free soloing is climbing alone and without any gear that would protect you from a fall.

Even to many seasoned climbers, free-soloing – is simply crazy.

A well-known practitioner, Alain Robert (“spiderman”), has scaled dozens of skyscrapers around the world and several mountains, without using any safety equipment.

A form of free solo climbing that is becoming more and more popular in recent years is deep water soloing. Deep water soloing is similar to free soloing, but the only difference is you are climbing over water. The water acts as your protection when you fall.

Free Solo by Alain Robert

Free Solo by Alain Robert

Typically, free soloing is practiced where the difficulty of the climbing is well below the limits of the climber or the route is dialed by the climber. Even so, there have been several fatalities of solo climbers who have fallen while climbing routes well below their limits. Inherent risks such as loose rocks or sudden change in weather are always present to the practice of soloing.

No one can say for sure how many climbers free-solo. Most of the time, though, climbers use ropes and other protection as they climb. And many climbers say they never would climb without protection. The danger, lies largely in factors beyond a climber’s control.

Before he died, Derek Hershey told the New York Times: “Observers think [I've] got a death wish. But there’s nothing else that makes me feel so alive. . . When you’re free-soloing, you can’t afford to be distracted. You concentrate on the flow from move to move to move. You exist only in the present.”

This feeling of coming alive can become a problem for soloists.

Some of the driving forces in free soloing from 1900 to today: Paul Preuss, Henry Barber, John Bachar, Dan Osman, Derek Hershey, Dean Potter.

Check out Dean Potter Free-Solo Heaven

If you decide to take part in free soloing due so at your own risk.

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Related posts:

  1. When You Can’t Find the Wilderness Go Buildering
  2. Deep Water Soloing
  3. The Art of Buildering
  4. Free Climbing Nightmare
  5. Deep Water Soloing Article

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 3rd, 2010 at and is filed under Deep Water Soloing, free soloing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Free Solo Climbing”

  1. vulkane krakatau Says:

    November 9th, 2010 at

    this is very cool, i’d love to try it.

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