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Watch Matt Bush Solo Big 5.11b in South Africa

Matt Bush is a South African climber who has free soloed routes up to 5.13d far above the ground.

In the below video, Bush solos Casualties of War 5.11b on Pearl Mountain, one of South Africa’s largest granite domes.

The route was opened in 2004 and has seen few ascents. It follows the most prominent line up the rock.

“It may only be graded 6c+/5.11b but grades are often not a true measure of difficulty for soloing,” said Bush.

“There are many other variables to factor in… The movement style is delicate, on-balance and very technical. The margin for error is small. Sometimes the hands and feet are pressed into tiny quartzite crystals.”

Bush continues, “The first crux revolves around two apposing gastons, setting the feet up high and reaching far to a good hold. It’s a dynamic move.

“The final crux involves a long reach off a layback with both feet smearing on marginal holds. It feels extremely exposed. These factors combine to make this a new level of solo for me.

“Near the top there’s a small ledge to turnaround on which is probably the highlight of the climb. When it comes to choosing a route for solo I look for something that’s challenging but the beauty of the place and the movement style are determining factors.

“This particular route has it all in one. It’s a dream solo.”