The Adrenalist

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Free Soloing In Zion National Park



Free soloing is the apex of mountain climbing. The practice involves forgoing ropes, safety harnesses and other protective gear to ascend a mountain using only a climber’s natural strength, guile, courage and, perhaps, most importantly, psychological fortitude. Most free soloing is done on a mountain with which the climber is already familiar. This way, they’re able to mimic the plotted course they’ve taken in the past and they have a pretty good idea about toe-holds and crevices they can squeeze into, but it’s still a battle of the climber’s will.

The fact that a climber may or may not have done a climb before doesn’t change the fact they’re climbing with a threat of death lurking around every hand-hold. That’s where the psychological (not to mention, physical) strength comes from: the ability to tune out the fear and focus on the climb.

One such solo climber at Mount Zion National Park in Utah’s southwestern territory, just north of the Arizona border, caught his entire free solo climb on that ubiquitous piece of Adrenalist gear: a Go Pro camera. His first-person POV video, in which he scales a crack in the rock that extends 400 feet in the air, stretches 11 minutes long and shows him throughout the entire ascent. At the top, he meets his mate and finally gets strapped into some safety gear.

As you experience the video, your countenance may turn as white as the climber’s chalk-dusted pair of hands. That’s because you’re experiencing the achingly strong fear normal people would associate with the climb. Not this guy, however. He’s ready, willing and able to both attempt the death-defying climb, and, more importantly, to avoid falling. He reaches the summit, and his buddy gives him a high-five while the viewer finally exhales.

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