I am an independent, un-sponsored (Indie?) rock climber who is unaffiliated with any brand, free-solos up to 5.12c and wears shoes from three different companies, and sometimes dress-shoes, and sometimes barefoot. Idunno, listen folks, I’m weird. I’m fond of sending with a hat to hide this outrageously hideous mop of hair for all our benefit! Please note: The hat is my source of power, if it falls off the send doesn’t count.
Climbing, to me, has been a path towards peace. Free soloing done right is in no way about an adrenaline rush, but rather a feeling of control and calmness. If you’re doing it for the rush, you’re an idiot and it will catch up with you. This isn’t about just getting by on a climb, I want to own the route.
Soloing isn’t a matter of claiming “I can climb this perfectly,” far from it. Soloing is a statement that “I can climb this route with ability to spare, even if I screw it up a bit.” Any idiot can get lucky once, the second time is the solo. If you’re not at least willing to repeat it, then you got away with it, and you can only get away with so much in one lifetime
Soloing isn’t just a rare occurrence for me, it’s my way of life. Since committing fully to free soloing as my primary focus in 2013, I have climbed more pitches without a rope than I have with one