Friday, June 5, 2015


I was just looking over my last few posts, and there were a couple in a row there that might be taken as glorifying soloing, and maybe they do, but ultimately they should not. Soloing is a dangerous activity, with all, or virtually all, of the marbles on the line, mistakes can, and do, kill soloists. A quick perusal of the statistics section of the American Alpine Club's annual Accidents in North American Mountaineering (ANAM), will show you that the number one contributory cause to climbing accidents is "Climbing unroped" - climbing without a rope is dangerous.

The point is this; no one should climb without a rope, but people do, and sometimes they fall and die, or become vegetables, or quadriplegics - that is the reality of soloing. If you're even considering whether or not it's a good idea, I can tell you that it isn't. While it's not a good idea, people still continue to do it for any number of reasons, and on a wide variety of terrain - hopefully those people have carefully weighed the risk vs. reward and made their decisions based on years of experience.

If you're a new climber and soloing seems enticing, realize that you probably don't have the experience to make that judgement, or get yourself out of trouble if it arrives. If you're under 25, then you don't have a fully-developed capability for parsing risk vs. reward. In other words, if you're young and new to climbing you have absolutely no business soloing.

Okay, that's my two cents for the day...carry on.

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