Going Soto

Alone on ice is a wonderful place to be, At times, soloing exposes the climber to greater danger, but very often the experienced person is safer when alone. The soloist leaves behind doubt, fear, and competitive urges, and strikes out on a journey of self-discovery, vulnerable to new insight and experience. Every move takes on added significance, as, in climber/philosopher Willi Unsoeld's words, you are "walking the edge of imminent dissolution,"

Without question the most dangerous situation for a single climber is traversing snow-covered glaciers with htdden crevasses. Most people smartly avoid this circumstance, which leaves a little too much to chance. On the other hand, the solo climber's speed can turn many rockfall- and avalanche-prone alpine routes into reasonable ventures. Even the steepest frozen waterfalls can be safely ascended by ihe experienced soloist who treats each axe placement as a portable belay, never making a move until it is certain the hold is absolutely reliable,

Right: In tfae winter of 1995 I Mod« tit* first solo ascent of the Adirondack classic, Positive Thinking (WI5-) on Poke-O-Mooashbe. For m experienced,

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