Remarkable YouTube Video: Dean Potter's Speed Ascent of El Capitan

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    Jun 26, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
    This is remarkable video of Dean Potter's speed ascent of El Capitan.

    For those of you who don't know Dean Potter, he's an accomplished extreme climber....but who is also very controversial. He's as much a relentless self-promoter as he is an incredible athlete. He's been widely criticized for climbing Delicate Arch in Utah...not so much for the damage he might have done...but for the egotistical way in which he's been jockeying around rules governing activities in protected locations to garner more publicity for himself, superb athlete or not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwV5t7IgCHI
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    Jun 27, 2008 1:00 AM GMT
    Talk about speed ascents:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpm0m6bVfrM&feature=related
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    Jun 27, 2008 2:09 AM GMT
    rockjockdad saidTalk about speed ascents:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpm0m6bVfrM&feature=related


    These guys are amazing. I'll ask the question that I asked on another thread about the Potter video...about this one too. How the heck were camera crews in position to film these ridiculous feats.
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    Jun 27, 2008 2:43 AM GMT
    In many cases, there's a way they can hike to the top. I've only been to Yosemite once, but I'm pretty sure you can hike to the top out of the valley. Probably long and arduous, but it's Dean Potter after all. Another way is to climb it themselves, often by way of aid climbing. I've heard the Nose is bolted all to hell now, anyway. So they can just anchor off and haul themselves and their gear up.
  • atxclimber

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    Jun 27, 2008 4:07 AM GMT
    Jesus, this stuff is insane.

    Dan Osman died in 1998, although it was from equipment failure. Then again, it kind of seems like you do this kind of thing enough, the statistics are bound to catch up with you. Terrifying.
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    Jun 27, 2008 5:13 AM GMT
    atxclimber saidJesus, this stuff is insane.

    Dan Osman died in 1998, although it was from equipment failure. Then again, it kind of seems like you do this kind of thing enough, the statistics are bound to catch up with you. Terrifying.


    I didn't know that, but when I saw the video rockjockdad linked us to I told my friend Thom that this guy's days were numbered. There is absolutely no tolerance for error when you're doing that crazy stuff...as impressive as it is...equipment failiure or not. It's like these guys hae a deathwish.

    But, with respect to the photography, I realize that someone can be on top....and yes, I have been on El Capitan's summit. That's easy to get to.

    But, what about all those in-between shots....those were all shot on the vertical face. (By the way, I love the shot of Dean running past that startled rock climber who had obviously spent the night at a location through which Dean reached in a manner of minutes....
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    Jun 27, 2008 3:49 PM GMT
    Dan Osman died rope jumping, not climbing. His rope jumping was basically bungee jumping, but with a climbing rope. He usually only soloed routes after carefully scoping them and many times he had already climbed them. That video depicts a 5.7 route Osman could have climbed blindfolded.
    Having said that, I would like to add that I use ropes for climbing. I would never recommend soloing to anyone.
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    Jun 27, 2008 4:32 PM GMT
    Super scarey stuff. I know everyone gets off on different things, but that's just a bit mind-blowing. Maybe those kind of climbers don't feel grounded. They 'need' to climb. Interesting to watch and think about.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 27, 2008 9:14 PM GMT
    rockjockdad: Yeah, that's the usual thing about free soloing -- "You don't wear a helmet when you walk down the street, why not? I've been climbing long enough that this 5.7 is like walking down the street."

    Only problem is, if you fall while walking down the street you look like an idiot and maybe get scraped up. How many times can you do that 5.7 before the flake you double dyno to is loose and breaks off and you fall?

    Yeah, wikipedia says Dan died doing a jump and the belief is that his rope got wound with another one and basically the friction melted right through it. But again... eventually statistics catch up with you, right? Kind of eerie.
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    Jun 28, 2008 5:15 PM GMT
    Yeah, those stats can catch up to you even when you're OCD.
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    Jun 28, 2008 7:30 PM GMT
    He might as well swim with sharks naked. icon_confused.gif

    It's foolhardy. I respect extreme sports folks, but not when it's bordering on the stupid for showbiz.

    What a waste on Osman. tsk.