Dean Potter is perhaps my fave climber. Alex Lowe used to fill that spot, but died in a slab avalanche while skiiing on on Shishapangma in Tibet.
Potter is hardcore but also super-smart, and he dominates the Yosemite climbing scene. (Does Camp IV ring a bell to any Naked Edge fans?) He speed climbs, free solos (climbs without ropes), high balls (bouldering without ropes), base jumps (leaps off cliffs wearing a small parachute) and high-lines (walks on a tightrope high above the earth with no protection other than a small chute).
This video shows how he's mixing these up, using the questionable protection of a parachute to back him up when he free solos crazy things like a big wall on the Eiger (in the Alps). This video shows him falling, once while high-lining and once while free-soloing.
“Now when I fall, instead of dying, I’m flying,” he says.
It’s breathtaking to watch.
I suppose Gabe grew out of a mix of the rangers I know, plus Alex Lowe and Dean Potter. As an aside, my brother Robert and I know Dean Potter’s wife, Steph Davis, whom I mentioned in Naked Edge. She’s a fantastic climber in her own right, and you can search YouTube for videos of her.
Sorry to be behind in keeping the blog up to date. I had RomCon over the weekend, dinner with both of my sons, Benjamin’s girlfriend and her entire family Monday night, and dinner after work last night with author Anna Campbell. So I have either been at work or out having a bit of fun, which is nice.
Today, we’re getting the paper out, but I ran across this video and just had to share it. Here’s for those of you who loved Gabe!