Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jordan Tybon - take on free soloing

Yesterday I published a full interview with my friend Andy Lewis about free soloing. I'm hoping you enjoyed it. Today I am going to present a full take on the same subject by Jordan Tybon. This guy is not only great soloist but great photographer, versatile slackliner and climber, solid industrial climber and dear friend of mine. We met for the first time in Morocco in 2007 during a climbing trip and since then out paths started to cross more and more. Now we both live in Berlin, we are on the same slackline team (Somewhereelseland), we work together doing industrial climbing, train together. I am sure sometimes he has enough of me already, but I couldn't ask for a better friend. Well, Jordan put up some of his thought about the cleanest of the styles in highlining. Since he graduated philosophy his thoughts are always well put and interesting. This time the read is quite shorter but it doesn't mean it's any worse. I wish I could show you more pictures of Jordan free soloing and being awesome but usually frugally he hides on the other side of the lens. You should check some of his YouTube videos for some Jedi rodeo surfing abilities or Monkey Business to see him after sending current world record swami highline (in my mind the record still stands just because of how proud that line was). OK, to come to the point, here it is and enjoy!

Jordan Tybon (Age 30)

Jordan in Ostrov

"It is quite difficult to give reasons why you would free solo. That's probably because the reasons that people have are so personal and distinct.

I can only speak for myself, and I don’t want to be misinterpreted. Honestly, for me it feels like a natural progression. At some point walking with your leash loses its flavor, and your level of confidence rises to the point where you begin to search out new challenges for yourself.

Jordan preparing for his first free solo ever (Ostrov/CZ)

Highlining was always for me a practice of control, of building up a tolerance for fear. And thus perhaps it becomes clearer why this felt like such a natural progression. As the tolerance for anxiety and fear grow, the challenge has to grow along side them, and thus to walk without a leash becomes the most logical consequence.

I cannot say that I have had any really negative experience with free solo, probably the most negative thing I have experienced in my life, turned out to be one of the greatest. That is, the free solo half man of the Lost Arrow Spire. The turmoil and anxiety of that event can scarcely be described, but neither can the joy and feeling of accomplishment.

Jordan topping out on Munginella 5.7 OS free solo - three pitch classic in Yosemite Valley
Jordan is one crazy soul. Pitching during the rodeo ride together with Julien Millot (Lodi, CA 2013)

Motivation? That is a tough one. The easiest answer is to say simply, because we can. And this is partly true, it is something we are capable of doing, we are aware of this capability, and the risks are more than acceptable. It takes no more calculation than deciding whether you should drive your car across a bridge, whether the bridge will collapse. You make a cost-benefit-risk analysis, and act rationally thereupon.

Jordan latest free solo in Ostrov
Raging leashless on some fun midlines in Humboldt

And to explain it like that makes perfect sense to me. I can completely identify with this exact thought-process, but somehow, when I describe it like this, its not why we do it. It simply explains the process.

I think the search for free solos and in general the search for new challenges is a continuous reposing of the question: how well do I know myself? It is the search for our identity, an ability that is within us to say I can do this, I am capable, and thus to free oneself from the limits imposed on him by his environment, his education, and his society.

I think it is also a challenge, a crying-out to those who may be paying attention, not as a spectacle or grab for attention, but rather to simply put on display the limits of human potential. Their endeavors are a search for what is truly possible, what we, all together, are really capable of, when only we are fascinated by something."

Also, if you want more insides on free soloing "Lost Arrow Spire" read this FULL ARTICLE written by Jordan featured at Outdoor Research website.

I actually found really interesting what Andy and Jordan had to say about free soloing. That is why soon I am going to feature few more athletes like Faith Dickey, Petr Kučera and Michael Kemeter. Stay tuned for that and more!

Peace & SlackOn!

1 comment:

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