Even if you’re not obsessed with rock climbing, you might have seen Dan Osman speed climbing hundreds of metres in the air without a rope. It’s iconic and terrifying.
Now, almost 20 years later, fellow free solo climbing legend Alex Honnold has recreated the speed ascent.
All of this is just extremely terrifying.
A quick history lesson: Dan Osman was one of the most insane risk takers in rock climbing history. He was an early proponent of free soloing — climbing big walls, by himself, without a rope. That’s terrifying enough, but he decided to crack it up a notch with ‘speed solos’. Most free solo climbing is done carefully and statically — makes sense when you consider a single mistake will result in your death. Dan Osman was basically racing up the rock, doing insane dynamic moves whilst doing so.
The above video is probably one of the most iconic pieces of climbing footage ever recorded.
There’s a real gravity to the footage though. Dan Osman is dead. He didn’t die climbing, he died rope jumping in 1998, when strange conditions caused his rope to catch on itself and literally melt during a leap.
Fast Forward to 2016. Alex Honnold is the boldest (and most famous) rock climber on the planet, pushing the art of free soloing to the extreme. He grew up watching Dan Osman and has now fully recreated his most famous climb.
Mullet. Check. 1997 style climbing shoes. Check.
Balls of titanium. Check.
It’s a neat homage.