Friday, January 25, 2013

OMIGOD IF UR AN ACROPHOBE DO NOT WATCH



Sweet. Zombie. Jesus. My palms broke into a sweat just watching this on my cell phone...

The raw physical fitness on display is mind-boggling.

49 comments:

Suz said...

At a quick glance, I thought the word in your title was "arachnophobe." Watching this with images of spiders in mind, was actually quite appropriate.

But it wasn't the thought of spiders that made me queasy. Yeesh!

Michael said...

OMFG! You warned me! Problem here is not how you die but how soon!

ProudHillbilly said...

They are all too young to have found out how seriously gravity sucks...

Joseph said...

I like the helmet on the one dude. Yeah, that's the big safety concern there pal, rocks falling on your head. Perhaps one of those rocks would knock some sense into you.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

The first guy up was probably the most famous Free Solo climber ever. He was the guy who made it famous. Dan Osman looked like a wild man doing speed free solos, basically running up the side of hills.

What no one bothered to find out was that Dan had practiced that hill so many times that it was more familiar to him than the hallway in my house is to me. He looked crazy. He wasn't.

He was also a practitioner of a new type of sport, "rope-jumping." He thought that bungee jumping was lame. You fell, you hit the end, you slowed down gradually. I've bungee jumped, and I'd have to agree with him. Cool once. Not worth the time afterwards.

He spent incredible amounts of time working out how far you could fall and what type of rigging you had to do to make it safe. In 1998 one of the ropes broke and he died.

There's some irony in the fact that the biggest name in rock climbing without a rope died because his rope broke.

A good book on him.
http://www.amazon.com/Fall-Phantom-Lord-Climbing-Face/dp/0385486421

blindshooter said...

I get tired pulling the handle on my progressive reloading press.

Anonymous said...

These are the sorts of people who can do one fingered pullups with all of their digits. They all have physiques like GI Joe dolls.

Amazing people.

Matt
St Paul
@1077idaho

Buzz said...

Looks like awesome fun, but batshit crazy without safety ropes.
I've been ridiculously high up in trees and looked down, realizing how incredibly stupid I was after being already too high. I would get caught in the excitement and fail to think about "how high is too high" or getting down. I fell out of a tree...once. It was right after a rain and I luckily hooked my leg on a large horizontal branch about 10 feet from the ground. It swung me around the bottom of the branch like an ape and tore the shit out of my skin, but better than if I would have made it to the ground. (or caught the branch centered between my legs)

Ditto on the helmet comment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, now I can't finish my dinner

hektor said...

Whole stole the cookie from the cookie jar?!! These fuckers, that's who. Its not safe anywhere.

libertyman said...

Sweaty palms here. Good grief.

Tam said...

Incidentally, there's the answer to the whole "women in combat arms" thing: Institute one PT standard for an MOS, with no grading on the curve for age or sex. No "girl pushups", and no "fat old guy run times". Either you can do the job or you can't...

"But Tam! That will mean there will be almost no female cannon cockers!" Well, if you can't keep the guns fed, you don't get to cock cannons...

Jeffro said...

Just because these people let their brains drain from their ear canals is no reason I should do the same.

J.R.Shirley said...

Yes, Tam, that's always been my suggested solution.

Anonymous said...

"Oh..., hell no. Don't do it!" That's what I was thinking the whole time. Over water is one thing, but rocks... -- Lyle

Anonymous said...

Don't fall in love ,for one day the hand will slip. The rock will shatter or the rope beak.

Old NFO said...

I 'think' most if not all of them are now dead... And agree on the phsyical requirements...

staghounds said...

I thought Destivelle was dead, but she isn't.

I quit climbing years ago, I had a warning vision. It's awesome, though.

Kristophr said...

Joseph:

Loose rocks falling on you is something you can't fix with technique and strength, so yes, the helmet makes sense.

Falling boulders are the most dangerous thing on a mountain, besides falling.

Tam said...

staghounds,

"It's awesome, though."

That word is overused to the point of triteness.

Here, however, it is completely appropriate.

RKN said...

Looks like a classic unmet need for government regulation.

I mean, really, if even one climber's death could be avoided...

Kevin said...

I imagine the helmet serves as a convenient container should the inevitable happen.

Kevin said...

I imagine the helmet serves as a convenient container should the inevitable happen.

Anonymous said...

Mountain climbing always just seemed like fun to me. This, on the other hand...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A_h2AjJaMw

JustSomeGuy said...

I'm always awed by the phenomenal things human beings can accomplish. Thrilling.

Also, my head is spinning, my heart is thumping a bit and my hands were so damp I had to dry them to type...

Thanks, Tam, now I have to drain enough adrenaline to sleep...

JSG

Anonymous said...

Fuck. That.

John said...

Unnh...yeah. Now I'm going sit very very still until my immediate world quits spinning.

NAVIGATOR said...

FALLING IS NOT THE PROBLEM
IT IS THE SUDDEN STOP !

T.Stahl said...

Thank you, Tam and anonymous 2:11!
I haven't felt this close to fainting since I read an article about epidural anaesthesia.

Marja said...

Didn't finish watching. I do have acrophobia - I have no problems in airplanes but I can't even look straight down from a balcony if it is higher up than a few stories without starting to feel weak on the knees. Also mild claustrophobia - I can handle, say, caves, as long as I can stand up but do not ask me to get anywhere where I'd have to crawl, even having to bend because the ceiling is too low makes me uncomfortable. I have been trying to condition myself away from both phobias but while I'm nowhere as bad as I used to be I haven't been completely successful.

I'm not quite sure whether I'm envious of those people or consider them idiots. Bit of both, maybe.

Critter said...

i did a bit of climbing back in my mi-spent youth, but nothing like this. ropes, pitons, carabiners. i liked to be connected to the rock by more than my fingernails.

perlhaqr said...

I used to climb like that. And then I wasn't 16 and "immortal" any more and I stopped.

perlhaqr said...

Well, ok, let me restate that. I used to climb without ropes. I've never been anywhere near in shape enough to climb like those folks are.

Chem said...

Cool music on the vid.

I admire their ability. You wont catch me doing it without ropes like that, and this is coming from someone who regularly exits perfectly good airplanes...with parachutes. I imagine a "free" skydiver would have a short career.

The question I have on the women in combat thing (which I support), is will the public/congress have the self-control to not meddle when almost no women make it in certain career fields? When they have a radically lower pass rate? Additionally, will they accept it if, in 10 years, the military comes forward and says "here is the stats, of those that make it, after 4 years of humping 1.5 times their body weight 75% are medically retired. We dont think it is worth the medical costs to allow women into X MOS."

I dont know if that will happen or not, but it might.

Bram said...

Tam,
1. PT standards have nothing to do with the kind of fitness needed in a combat arms job. "30-mile march with 75-lb pack" would have to replace the run. Then the sit-ups and chin-ups.

2. The Army is incapable of moving to one standard - PC is too deeply ingrained in the culture, and politicians are too willing to intervene if the desired "equal" results aren't achieved. It won't happen in any Administration and won't be considered by this one.

3. Those climbers are nuts.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, when you are 25 or 30 and you realize your body is no longer capable of this, what do you then do for thrills and chills?

I mean, assuming you survive, you've already, I'm sure, used up every nano-gram of adrenaline your body will ever make.

What could give you a rush bigger than this?

Flying a supersonic aircraft in ground following mountain without radar assist in the mountains?

Racing F1 cars on track that has mines?

Doing sword practice with live steel and no armor?

Anonymous said...

As a geologist, they are working on some great looking pieces of rock. I wish they would have grabbed a few hand samples for those of us on the ground.

Tam said...

Bram,

"1. PT standards have nothing to do with the kind of fitness needed in a combat arms job. "30-mile march with 75-lb pack" would have to replace the run. Then the sit-ups and chin-ups."

That's why I suggested that PT standards would need to be re-written on an MOS-by-MOS basis. (To use an AF example, somebody could be an outstanding screen-watcher at STRATCOM without necessarily measuring up to the running quals required by PJs and JTACs.)

And the ability to do the job shouldn't be adjusted based on the gender or age of the person wanting to do it.

But, as you noted, this is all so much pie-in-the-sky wishing in our current "Everybody Gets A Trophy" climate...

Will said...

Anon @1:37

Your question is from a common miss-perception of people who do not regularly engage in an activity that has severe physical damage or death as a possible result of you screwing up, or from elements beyond your control.

That huge adrenaline dump you get when suddenly scared, is definitely NOT what they are working with, or even looking for. It tends to make things more difficult, as it impedes the control you need to function, at the extreme limits you are working at.

My own experience of this would primarily be roadracing motorcycles. I last raced at age 46, and would still be racing at age 60, if not for a stroke a few months after that last race.

CA has a state level racing club that has an "over age 40" class. It was originally set up for old racers that still wanted to keep their hand in, but maybe weren't competitive. By the time that I qualified for it, it was the most contested class in the club, since there were no bike limits (run-watcha-brung).

The top guys in the class were also winning other classes. No quarter given. I made a mistake in line choice, and they ran me right onto the grass in that last race! Normally, I've only encountered that level of intensity at national level races.

Anyway, my point is that there are still areas of endeavor beyond teens and twenties that have similar threat/enjoyment levels. The just tend to cost more to engage in!

Bram said...

Yep - I would spend my wishes elsewhere.

Tam said...

Will,

"That huge adrenaline dump you get when suddenly scared, is definitely NOT what they are working with, or even looking for."

This echoes Alex Honneld's comment at the 2:05 mark in this video.

David said...

Like Critter - I used to climb a lot but always with safeties and belays. Then one day we were staged about half way up a very challenging climb, taking a breather and having a bit of lunch. Another (unhelmeted) climber that was climbing about 200 feet over from us - fell. She hit the rocks hard, went limp in her harness, and was hanging there with a steady stream of blood flowing off her head. Her climbing partner, who was belaying her, freaked out.

One of the guys I was climbing with and I realized that it was going to take too much time to move our equipment to get over to her. But while the other two guys with us immediately started doing just that, the two of us unclipped from our safeties, and started traversing over to where the injured climber was at. I don't believe either of us would have made that traverse without the other one guiding and advising each other.

We got to the girl, stopped the blood flow from a crushed spot over her right temple. Our climbing partners eventually got to her partner got him calmed down, and fed us a second line to lower her down.

As some people on the ground where loading her into a car to take her into town my climbing partner grabbed me - pointed to the face we had just traversed across, without ropes, and asked "What the hell were we thinking? Neither one of us should have been out there even with ropes, we're not that good."

All I could say was "Well maybe, today, and together - we were that good." Then we hung there for a while, enjoying the view, until we both stopped shaking enough to be able to rappel down.

Neither one of us ever climbed again. I am awed watching these people climb. But I haven't had the desire to try it myself for many years. I'm in my 50s now and perfectly happy to have given up a sport that probably would have eventually killed me. Since I apparently don't think too clearly at times of stress...

(according to the papers, the girl who fell, survived, but had quite a time recovering from her head injuries)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't pay me enough Twinkies to do THAT!

Ulises from CA

Eck! said...

Didn't finish that...

Consider I can fly a plane upside down and every which way. Open the door and even looks down of course while strapped in. after landing I get out and be totally intimidated by a 4ft step ladder needed to put fuel in the wing tanks.

Fear of falling. that clip does it bad.

Eck!

Netpackrat said...

I always liked this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxqB9T3T004

That must be the official climbing music or something.

Anonymous said...

Guys, It's like running a super fast tri-Lambda,or 1200M first round hits. It takes skill, practice and incredible awareness. Yes, I'm a climber. I'm also well over 40. I solo things I KNOW I can solo. You may think a foot wide ledge is narrow, I think it's wide.

All a mater of perspective really.

P.S. I knew DanO...

carnaby said...

Not sure if anyone already mentioned it, but that guy who misses and appears to be falling to his death is a base jumper and has a parachute on his back. He made it down just fine.

carnaby said...

You can see it better here where he tracks away from the cliff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF3v9v8zIHg

Tam said...

carnaby,

Yeah, that's Dean Potter. I was watching an interview with him where he said that he loves the 'chute because it lets him attempt to free solo that not even he is normally suicidal enough to attempt. (Of course he didn't phrase it that way, but that's how my brain parsed it.)

To see some of the other things he does for giggles, google "Dean Potter Yosemite Slackline".)