Monthly Archives: February 2019

14: The Only Blasphemy

Free soloing is sketchy as hell! At least it is if you do it wrong as hell… I figured it’s time to address that head-on, so this week is storytime about all the times I was sketchier than all get-out. I didn’t sit on a rock and meditate to generate the process, naw. I learned these ways through the school of hard-knocks.

Two things you need to solo well: Good judgment, and good experience. Unfortunately, it seems the only way to gain good experience is through poor judgment.

Is there any better way to learn than by making mistakes? Yeah. Mentorship. Learning from *other’s* mistakes. So that’s what I’m offering up here. All of my worst mistakes. Wanna convince someone to stop soloing? Send them this episode!

Maybe my mistakes can educate and inform to keep others from repeating them.

013 – 5.12a Onsight and Free Solo “Tangerine,” Little River Canyon

Onsight Free-Solo 5.12, does it get any more rowdy than that? This is the story of the single most intense experience of my entire life

I don’t like lowball solos, where the crux is straight off the deck, at least not when searching for a “personal best” performance. If a route is V4 off the ground with a 5.10 finish, that’s 12a on a rope, but without one… That’s a 5.10 solo with a V4 approach hike. Or maybe a V4 with a highball V0 X-rated finish. It feels like cheesing out, lying about your accomplishment, an affair born of vanity rather than some higher philosophy which deepens one’s understanding of the universe. Those hypothetical 5.12 moves would be nothing more advanced in style than an ordinary and everyday boulder problem. Bouldering is respectable, mind you, it’s just not a solo. When searching for a personal best, I avoid that grey area between the two. I want the difficulties to be high enough that there is no question. The difficulties of “Tangerine’s” ninety feet begin about halfway up, at the fifty-foot mark. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to swan-dive into the boulders from that height. You’re not limpin’ away from this one.

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012 – Mile of Mojo Mission Report!

This episode is the play-by-play recap of every route during the Mile of Mojo! How many minutes did they take? Did anything feel sketchy? This one is for the nerds. It’s technical and detailed down to a route-per-route basis
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011 – Mile of Mojo: Next Big Thing

I’d racked up 2500ft during a single afternoon, during an inspection mission, not even aiming for a goal, while hungover like Keith Richards after 1969’s Altamont Anarchy.

An El Cap day wasn’t ambitious enough. But what was the next milestone? There isn’t much in the way of more massive walls against which to measure oneself, so my mind harkened back to the legends of Mike Reardon: The Mile Day. That was the prize in mind.

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