Soloing is stupid, illogical and a good way to kill yourself. Period. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’ve been wrestling with it lately as a path to embracing life too, but that doesn’t change the truth of my first statement. Soloing is a new thing for me, something that has some of my friends and partners concerned. I’m tempted not even to write about it out of concern such efforts will glorify it, but since I am trying to be excruciatingly honest on SOG I have opted to talk about it.
I know worry, the feeling of concern, others feel about me. One of my favorite climbing partners and best friends, Michael Wejchert, has been soloing since before I thought it might have redeeming value. He soloed The Black Dike the day after I made the first ascent of the season, at a time when it was so thin I was scared climbing roped. And last year he soloed Fafnir days after I did it with a partner in conditions that constantly kept me guessing. I don’t want to lose a friend, and I’ve often wondered if his decision to climb without a rope is a good one.
But in recent weeks I’ve begun to understand the value in it. I’ve stopped second guessing so much. I still will always worry about him when he’s out there, but I’ve begun to get it a little bit.
And today he let me in a little more. He wrote a blog post on his blog, Far North Climbing, that I think every SOG fan should read. My reasons for soloing are my own, and here is another set, told with honesty. Excruciating honesty, from the heart. The only kind there is.