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Who is the greatest free solo climber ever?
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jbird


Oct 17, 2003, 2:00 PM
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Who is the greatest free solo climber ever?
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Just curious.


climbsomething


Oct 17, 2003, 2:03 PM
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There's no such thing as Just One. But to start with: Bachar, Croft, Hersey. For the more contemporary, Potter, Huber. Cedar Wright isn't as Hot Flashy, but he does some neat stuff too.


robmcc


Oct 17, 2003, 2:05 PM
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Whatever happened to Croft, anyway? He was IT when I started climbing, but I never hear about him anymore. Still with us and just doing something else, I hope?


iamthewallress


Oct 17, 2003, 2:20 PM
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Re: Who is the greatest free solo climber ever? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
There's no such thing as Just One. But to start with: Bachar, Croft, Hersey. For the more contemporary, Potter, Huber. Cedar Wright isn't as Hot Flashy, but he does some neat stuff too.

Hersey died free soloing. That disqualifies him as the best IMO.


climbsomething


Oct 17, 2003, 2:23 PM
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Whatever happened to Croft, anyway? He was IT when I started climbing, but I never hear about him anymore. Still with us and just doing something else, I hope?
Croft is still around. I don't know what he's got on his plate these days, but I am sure he's still climbing strong.


telemarkist


Oct 17, 2003, 2:27 PM
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derick hersey was a hell of a nice guy!


alpnclmbr1


Oct 17, 2003, 2:29 PM
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Croft is living in bishop, guides in the sierras, and seems to regularly travel the world on cool adventures.


vegastradguy


Oct 17, 2003, 2:33 PM
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doesnt Croft do alot of ridge traversing in the Sierras as well these days?
either way, he's got my vote.

respect to Bachar, Potter, and Huber as well.

Osman did his share, probably one of the more attention getting soloists before his jumping days.

there's others, but these are definitely the more modern masters of the art. i need to go read through my History of Free Climbing book, there's some madmen in that thing...


bvb


Oct 17, 2003, 2:36 PM
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ummm, no offense kids, but you want to be able to discuss this topic with some level of informed intelligence, you're going to have to spend less time reading the drivel that gets printed in climbing and rock and ice magazines, and spend more time working on becoming students of international climbing history.

my vote for greatest free-soloist of all time? paul pruess. on-sight soloed insane thousand meter f.a.'s in the dolomites in the early part of this century. but he's just my favorite. strickly speaking, there is no "greatest". but there is a small group of "greats".


iamthewallress


Oct 17, 2003, 2:46 PM
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ummm, no offense kids, but you want to be able to discuss this topic with some level of informed intelligence, you're going to have to spend less time reading the drivel that gets printed in climbing and rock and ice magazines, and spend more time working on becoming students of international climbing history.

Agreed...some of the best free soloists don't sell their climbs. Not to mention that the guys above don't always sell their best efforts either.

However, I do stand by the assertion that if you die free soloing, chances are you extended yourself beyond either your limits to know your own abilities or to be intune with nature (i.e. holds breaking, weather, etc). Since this knowledge is what sets the best freesoloists apart from the best roped climbers (where the two don't overlap), I think that dying should take one out of the running for being celebrated as "the best" free soloist.


telemarkist


Oct 17, 2003, 2:55 PM
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best, who really cares? I was just giving an opinion, while derick hersey was a skilled climber or that he died in the valley soloing matters to some, I was just pointing out that he was a cool guy, very positive and encouraging to all, no matter your skill level, I liked him.


asaph


Oct 17, 2003, 2:55 PM
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The living ones?


meataxe


Oct 17, 2003, 2:58 PM
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I don't like the idea of "best" when it comes to climbing. There's so many variables... Best on what route/problem?

That being said, nobody has mentioned John Gill who has done some notable solos/highballs in his career.


telemarkist


Oct 17, 2003, 3:45 PM
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how about Messner he's alive, that is if you count soloing Everest?


alwaysforward


Oct 17, 2003, 4:21 PM
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telemarkist and meatpost, those last 2 post sucked.


alpnclmbr1


Oct 17, 2003, 4:43 PM
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In reply to:
how about Messner he's alive, that is if you count soloing Everest?

Actually Messner did some cutting edge rock solo's in the dolomites before he got into big range mountaineering.


Partner one900johnnyk


Oct 17, 2003, 4:56 PM
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bachar


flamer


Oct 17, 2003, 4:57 PM
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Jim Erickson onsight free soloed several climbs in the 5.10 range...and they were first ascent's!!! Think about that...No beta(because it's never been climbed) strap on your shoes and chalk...then go for it. That's mastery.
josh


texplorer


Oct 17, 2003, 5:02 PM
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I know he's not alive now but Wolfgang Gullich was quite a bad ass too.


Partner polarwid


Oct 17, 2003, 6:03 PM
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polarwid moved this thread [In reply to]
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polarwid moved this thread from Beginners to Climbing History & Trivia.


jefffski


Oct 17, 2003, 7:16 PM
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Although i never met him, peter croft has my little vote. i am reminded of him whenever i climb the second pitch of the smokebluff connection, an interesting 5.8 called phlegmish dance in squamish. he has the first ascent--solo. very cool.


dynoguy


Oct 17, 2003, 7:34 PM
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My guess is we will never know :wink:


mike_hunt


Oct 17, 2003, 8:51 PM
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Harvey Finklestein, from Staten Island.

Harvey's exploits are legendary, and if you haven't heard of them or him, get out from under that rock!


thurbad


Oct 17, 2003, 9:03 PM
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How about Alain Robert? His free solo ascents of a 5.13c and many of the tallest buildings in the world are not too shabby.


musicheck


Oct 17, 2003, 9:11 PM
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I have to say in current times Tim Kemple is the best

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