Michael Reardon, is recognized as one of the leading free soloist in the world. Most climbers are unable to handle the mental toughness that free soloing demands, but not Michael Reardon he was a master.
“Whether we’ve pushed beyond personal limits, settled into complacency, or suffered the fate of things beyond our control”, he once mused, “we who practice this most challenging of sports know it as either a disaster waiting to happen or a spiritual journey with no compare.”
Reardon had soloed thousands of rock climbs up to the grade of 5.13b, which represents a level of climbing for this sports elite roped climbers.
Some of this free soloist’s accomplishments:
- National Geographic awarded him “Adventurer of the Year” for his lone ascent of the “Romantic Warrior” a 1000 foot route in the Needles.
- His solo of the formidable alpine “Palisade Traverse” in California’s Sierra Nevada in less than 24 hours.
- Michael Reardon was renowned for his ability to free solo a massive number of difficult routes in a day, once undertaking 280 routes at the Californian cliffs and boulders of Joshua Tree.
He was definitely not the only climber that fell in love with soloing. The list includes such famous practitioners as Henry Barber, Peter Croft, John Bachar and the Mancunian émigré Derek Hersey.
Although Reardon pursued much of his climbing in the United States he loved to climb internationally. Especially Britain and Ireland, but it was Ireland, the home of his paternal great-grandfather, that roused his passion and where he would make 250 onsight solos including more than 40 first ascents up to 5.12a.
Michael Reardon Update: Reardon fell in love with the rugged coastline of the west coast and Kerry and on July 13th was swept out to sea by a unexpected wave and has passed away. To read the whole story go here .
Michael Reardon Climbing Videos
The following videos are of Micheal Reardon climbing all over the world. Most of these videos are of some of the impressive free solo circuit training that he used to do. As well as a tribute to this great man.
A Tribute to his life
by Andrew Simpson
This video is from one of his latest trips to Ireland
Free soloing during a typical day for him at Stoney Point, California.
Free Soloing around local area of Malibu Creek
Joshua Tree is a special place for all rock climbers. Here’s a short video clip of Michael Reardon free soloing several of his favorite routes.
A day of soloing in the Needles of California
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