From The Mountain World:
“Squamish climber Matt Maddaloni rigged a 30-foot-diameter trapeze net, fashioned from fishing net and industrial-strength bungy cord, to protect his attempts to free-solo a 5.13a route.”
I have to think that this little stunt was done entirely as a joke. If I don’t think about it as a joke, large sectors of my teeth begin to powder under the grinding.
You can read Mr. Maddaloni’s own comments on the subject at his blog.
Perhaps my favorite part was when he says, “I never did finish the route–the crux takes you out near the edge of the net–but it was sure fun taking huge whippers into space on your back.”
Don’t get too close to the edge of the trapeze net, kids. You could get hurt. And isn’t a whipper called a whipper because of the rope? If you don’t have a rope, isn’t it just a fall?
Now, to be fair, the only reason I’m as irritated about this as I am, is Mr. Maddaloni’s usage of the term “free solo” in his description of what he did. As Mark Twight said in Kiss or Kill, “Although I am free to do anything, my actions directly reflect my integrity…It matters little what you do, as long as you say what you do.”
This is hardly a free solo.