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Free-Soloing a Classic American 5.10a

A boulderer with a finger injury looks for a new challenge and does not recommend free-soloing

Cory Best delivers an insightful look at his decision making before free-soloing The Dangler in the Gunks. This is one of the most classic 5.10a trad routes around, it was first climbed by Kevin Bein in 1978 as a variation third pitch to Something Interesting 5.7+. It’s been soloed countless times by other climbers.

“This is a documentation of my first (maybe last as long as my mom is still alive) solo,” said Best. “I don’t recommend soloing to anyone. Just go highballing – the same feeling without your friends and family worried you’ll die.”

Best is an avid boulderer with several sends of problems V10 and harder. Free-soloing should be left to highly experienced climbers.

The Dangler