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Free Soloing

Definition of a Climbing Word


Free Soloing

Photo of Wolfgang Gullich free solo climbing a Separate Reality at Yosemite Valley, California.

Photo courtesy Bergsteigen Magazine Free Soloing

John Bachar free-solo climbing "On the Lamb" at Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park.

Photo courtesy John Bachar Collection Free Soloing

A solo ice climber swings his ice axe on Chia Direct at Frankenstein Cliff, New Hampshire.

Photograph copyright Eric McCallister

Free Soloing

Free soloing or free solo climbing is the dangerous act of free climbing a rock face alone, without a climbing rope, harness, gear, or any other protection from the dire effects of a fall and gravity. Free soloing is a climber, wearing rock shoes and carrying a chalk bag, and the rock. There is a lot of purity in ascending a cliff that way but the truth is that if a climber falls, he will die

Soloing is Very Dangerous!

Despite its intimations of glory, free soloing is not recommended for anyone since the consequences of a fall are usually death or at least severe injury and disfigurement. 

Most Climbers Use Safety Gear

Many people think that most climbers ascend rocks without the benefit of a safety rope and consider that sheer foolishness and insanity. The fact of the matter, however, is that almost all climbers use a rope and other protection devices like cams and equipment to minimize that real dangers of climbing. 

Go Bouldering for Solo Thrills

If you want the thrill of free solo climbing, then be a boulderer where you confine your climbing to blocks or boulders that are usually less than 15 feet high. Boulderers usually climb without a safety rope. If they fall, they land on a crash pad, a thick foam pad, at the base of the boulder. 

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