"By far the scariest point was near the top, at around 1800 feet (550m), where there's a really difficult slab. It's really low angle and there are no holds to grip onto with your hands. You have to tiptoe your way up these small little footholds."
1-2 days: the amount of time it usually takes to ascend the Half Dome
“When you’re taking on something scary, it’s useful to think of yourself in the third person. It’s almost like you let a little robot inside you control your actions. You tell yourself, ‘This is what I’m going to do’ and then you execute it. You don’t pause at any point to think, ‘Why am I doing this?’ You operate yourself remotely because you’ve committed to it beforehand.”
“Even in the hairiest, most insecure positions, I’m still excited to be there. Half of the appeal of soloing is just to be hanging out in an outrageous place. It’s kind of the whole point.”
"I like the simplicity of free solo climbing. It's like taking a final exam: you can prove to yourself that you have a degree of mastery over a route."
305m: the height from which Adam Potter, a 35-year-old climber, fell and survived while tackling the Sgurr Choinnich Mor peak in Scotland last year
“I think I have a fairly rational view of death. Everybody’s going to die. You can’t let that stop you from living the life you want to live.”
“When you feel like that, it’s easy to give up, start climbing poorly and fall. The important thing is that even if you have that dread, just rationally say to yourself, ‘I’m still going to do my best.’ Even though you’re terrified on the inside.”
Step on it “It’s all about footwork and body position. It’s not about holding on, it’s not about pulling really hard; it’s about keeping your weight over your feet and pushing yourself upwards. It’s the most important thing in climbing.”
Push yourself “The whole fun of being in a climbing gym is just to see what you can do. Because it’s so safe you might as well try anything you can.”Watch your fingers “Climbing requires precise positioning of your fingers and placement of your toes. You’re using muscles you rarely use in normal life. It’s so easy to pull tendons.”