>free solo

>Fear of heights is a good thing. It’s kinda like fear of great white sharks. If you are in the ocean swimming near great white sharks it does not mean you are going to be eaten. But your chances of being eaten are probably greater than if you are swimming with some otters.

Climbing shear cliff faces without using any ropes or other safety equipment is a little like saying, “Hey look, there’s a whole bunch of great white sharks in the water. I’m going swimming!” If you don’t get eaten still no one will praise you for making a good decision to go swimming. If you do get eaten, well… I guess you won’t care what they say.

Still there is something thrilling about watching someone free solo El Capitan, a 3,000 foot cliff of polished granite. 3,000 feet is really high up. If you want to see what it looks like to look down from about 2,000 feet on El Capitan, click here. If you want to watch Dean Potter free solo El Cap, watch this video:

Now if you think free soloing is just something one or two people do, then watch this video about a Siberian community where everyone does it.

Some people go on nature walks, some bird watch, others paddle around in small boats, and others take the family to the cliffs and say, “Okay kids, up you go!”

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